A handout photo made available by The State Duma Press Service, the Lower House of the Russian Parliament, shows lawmakers attending a session at the Russian State Duma in Moscow, Russia, 16 May 2023. EFE/EPA/FILE/STATE DUMA PRESS SERVICE HANDOUT MANDATORY CREDIT / HANDOUT / EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

Russia’s Duma approves to scrap ratification of nuclear test ban treaty

Moscow, Oct 17 (EFE).- The State Duma or the lower house of the Russian parliament on Tuesday approved in first reading a bill revoking the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

The bill was supported by 412 of the 450 legislators that make up the Duma, implying unanimity among all legislators.

The bill, which still needs to be voted on second and third readings in the coming days, was passed without debate.

While presenting the bill, the chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, Leonid Slutsky, said it was a wise decision in the interest of peace and security of the planet.

Before the vote, Chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin said the United States asked Duma deputies not to approve the revocation of ratification of the CTBT treaty.

“For 23 years we have been waiting for Washington to ratify the treaty. What is this? Double standards, meanness and irresponsible attitude, there is no other way to call it,” he said.

He added that the decision is taken exclusively in the interests of the citizens of Russia and those seeking a world based on stability, security and justice.

Despite the move to revoke the CTBT, the Russian authorities have stressed that the de-ratification of the treaty, adopted in 1996, does not mean that the Kremlin will resume nuclear testing. EFE