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Gunboat Diplomacy: Russia could return to nuclear testing, says Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

*Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ramping up of nuclear rhetoric has brought the focus on the nuclear testings that began in 1945, as the world has witnessed over 2,000 nuclear tests being carried out thus far

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday, October 5, 2023, alarmed the global world again, as he hinted that his country could return to nuclear testing for the first time in over three decades. Suggesting that the Russian Parliament might withdraw its ratification of the landmark nuclear test ban treaty, President Putin said the US had signed the comprehensive test ban treaty but not ratified it, while Russia had signed and ratified it, agency report said.

Putin, who stated this at the annual Valdai Discussion Club in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, noted: “I am not ready to say whether we really need to conduct tests or not, but it is possible theoretically to behave in the same way as the US.”

The Russian President’s ramping up of nuclear rhetoric has brought the focus on the nuclear testings that began in 1945.

ConsumerConnect reports the United States carried out the first nuclear test July 1945 by testing a 20-kiloton atomic bomb at Alamogordo, New Mexico. The American country then, went on to drop atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 to end World War II.

However, the next five decades saw over 2,000 nuclear tests being carried out, 1,032 of them by the United States and 715 of them by the Soviet Union. Britain carried out 45 tests, France 210 and China 45.

In 1996, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty came into existence and the last test by the US was in 1992 while Soviet Union’s was in 1990.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty bans nuclear explosions by everyone, everywhere.

It was signed by Russia in 1996 and ratified in 2000.

The United States signed the treaty in 1996, but has not ratified it, report said.

However, India and Pakistan were among the countries that carried out nuclear tests after the treaty came into existence.

India conducted two in 1998 at Pokhran, thereby becoming a nuclear state. Pakistan also did two tests in 1998 while North Korea conducted tests in 2006, 2009, 2013, 2016 (twice) and 2017, according to the United Nations.

Interestingly, Russia, despite having inherited most of the Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal, never carried out a nuclear test and going by Putin’s statement, that could change.

Though the treaty was mooted by the world powers citing the impact these tests have on the environment and human health, recent satellite images have shown a flurry of activity in the nuclear test sites of the US, China and Russia.

However, there is no evidence to cite that any of the three countries were preparing for the tests, according to report.

It was gathered the US Department of Energy recently said it was willing to prove its engineers aren’t breaking a three-decade moratorium against testing nuclear weapons.

In 2020, the Washington Post had reported that the administration of US President Donald Trump also discussed whether or not to conduct a nuclear test.

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