World War 3 fears have exploded after the US was left “disturbed” by Russia’s plan to reverse its ratification of a 1996 treaty that banned the testing of nuclear weapons.
Mikhail Ulyanov, the country’s envoy to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), has said Russia will revoke its ratification of the pact.
This came hours after Vladimir Putin hinted Russia could make a terrifying return to nuclear weapons testing and possibly withdraw its ratification of the landmark treaty.
The bombshell move will worsen already volatile relations between the world’s largest nuclear weapons powers as Russia continues to rage at the US’ military support for Ukraine.
The US State Department has responded to the announcement, with a spokesperson saying in a statement: “We are disturbed by the comments of Ambassador Ulyanov in Vienna today.
“A move like this by any state party needlessly endangers the global norm against nuclear explosive testing.”
The statement also warned Russia should not be “wielding arms control and irresponsible nuclear rhetoric in a failing attempt to coerce other states”.
Following the announcement, Ulyanov seemingly appeared to play immediate fears, saying: “Russia plans to revoke ratification [which took place in the year 2000] of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty [CTBT].
“The aim is to be on equal footing with the US who signed the treaty, but didn’t ratify it. Revocation doesn’t mean the intention to resume nuclear tests.”
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Just a day earlier, Putin had said Moscow could reassess its ratification of the treaty.
He highlighted how the US had signed but not ratified the nuclear test ban treaty, but that Russia had both signed and ratified it.
The Russian president said: “Theoretically, we may revoke the ratification. It’s up to the state duma members.”
Putin also added: “I’m not ready to say yet whether it’s necessary for us to conduct tests or not.”
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US threatened with nuclear strikes on Russian State TV
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that “it doesn’t mean a statement about the intention to resume nuclear tests”, when asked if Russia reversing its ratification of the treaty means it would resume nuclear weapons tests.
The dramatic developments come with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko warning the US is pushing Russia and Vladimir Putin toward using nuclear weapons.
He said during his visit to a military facility in the Brest region: “I am getting the impression – I say again that it is my opinion – that Americans are pushing Russians toward using the most terrifying weapon.
“They arm Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelensky and his army and provide long-range missiles. Even missiles able to fly for 300 km (186 miles).”
Lukashenko further warned that if such a missile hit Russian territory, it would trigger a “colossal” response from Moscow.
He added: “One such attack deep into the Russian territory and the response will be colossal. Otherwise, why do we need these (nuclear) weapons for?”
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