Twenty years ago on June 30, Russia ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), one of the most important international legal documents in the field of arms control and non-proliferation.

Russia was one of the first countries to declare a moratorium on nuclear tests in 1992. That important and responsible decision was based on Russia’s firm resolve to move towards nuclear disarmament and to strengthen the non-proliferation regime and international security.

The preparation and opening of the CTBT for signature showed that the international community would have an effectively verifiable international treaty that will prevent the creation of more sophisticated nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation.

Russia has strictly complied with its obligations under the CTBT since its ratification. Providing support to the entry of the treaty into force is one of Russia’s foreign policy priorities. Russia is actively involved in the activities of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO), including the establishment of a CTBT verification mechanism. Russia is building on its territory the second-largest national segment of the CTBTO International Monitoring System (IMS), which is a key element of the verification mechanism: 28 out of the planned 32 monitoring stations have been completed in Russia.

Unfortunately, we have to point out a serious deterioration in the situation around the CTBT. The treaty, which opened for signature 25 years ago, has not come into force to this day, because it has not been signed and/or ratified by the remaining eight countries on which this depends. The United States has adopted the most destructive stand: it has openly announced that it will not ratify the CTBT and is preparing to resume nuclear tests.

The non-proliferation and arms control regime has come across huge challenges. Everything in our power must be done to overcome these negative trends. Russia is urging these eight countries, above all the United States, to reconsider their position and to give the green light to turning the CTBT, which is vitally important for global security, into a fully effective international instrument.