Published: Thu, May 30, 2019

Russia 'Probably' Not Adhering to Nuke Test Ban

Russia 'Probably' Not Adhering to Nuke Test Ban

A senior USA intelligence official has warned that Russian Federation is likely conducting secret nuclear weapon tests at remote Arctic sites as it works to modernize its atomic arsenal, despite an internaitonal treaty prohibiting such activities.

He said: "It wasn't about Russian Federation conducting any low-yield tests but that Russian Federation may have the capability for doing so".

When pressed on the allegation by Journal reporter Michael Gordon, Ashley would only say Russia had the "capability" to conduct very low-yield nuclear tests, a capability which Russia, China and the United States have long possessed, according to the Arms Control Association.

The United Nations Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) bans nuclear explosions of any size, for either civilian or military purposes.

More broadly, Ashley asserted that Russian actions have "strained" key pillars of a network of global arms control agreements, including the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Open Skies Treaty.

Russian Federation may be secretly conducting low-yield nuclear weapons tests to upgrade its arsenal, the head of U.S. military intelligence has said.

Earlier this year, President Donald Trump's administration announced it was pulling out of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, an agreement that eliminated an entire class of missiles.

It called for the United States itself to ratify the treaty. "Last year Americans said that they will maintain nuclear test sites in the condition of readiness for a possible resumption of nuclear tests", he added.

"The statement of the director of the United States Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) about Russia's alleged secret nuclear tests reveals the US military's declining professionalism", head of the State Duma Defense Committee Vladimir Shamanov told Russia's state-run Interfax news agency.

Russian Federation may be violating a ban on the testing of low-yield nuclear weapons capabilities at a site in the Arctic, a top USA intelligence official said.

"It would be impossible to make a more irresponsible statement", Interfax quoted Shamanov as saying. Stated bluntly, US intelligence services look for behavior that implies other nations are not taking their treaty obligations seriously, rather than absolute proof the treaties have been violated. "These words from a USA intelligence chief indicate that he is only an accidental person in this profession and he is in the wrong job". The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) said in a statement that it had not detected any unusual activity.

"These kinds of statements reveal that the professionalism of the military is systemically falling in America", Shamanov said.

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