Russian lawmakers have revoked the country’s membership of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in a unanimous vote.
The legislation will now need Vladimir Putin’s personal signature as both houses of the Russian parliament, the Duma, have also voted through the necessary law.
Russia remains a signatory of the Treaty and despite the de-ratification has still not withdrawn from it.
All nuclear explosions are banned by the treaty was had been signed by 187 countries.
North Korea is currently the only country in the world to openly flaunt the treaties banning nuclear testing.
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Putin has refused to publicly state whether Russia will conduct nuclear tests in the future or not – but some anaylsts have warned that it is more likely now.
Putin may be keeping the option, in case Russia’s fortunes suddenly decline and he could use it as a warning to the West. However, it would likely not be a scientific decision, but a political one and could set off an arms race.
James Acton, co-director of the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace told Sky News: “If we’re in a world in which testing is going on, the first thing it shows us is that nuclear risks have risen.
“I think testing is both a symptom of growing tensions, and would also further exacerbate those tensions.”
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It comes as Russia confirmed a massive exercise had been carried out testing the country’s readiness to respond to a retaliatory nuclear strike.
The test involved land, sea and air forces including submarine and bomber aircraft
A Yars intercontinental ballistic missile was also fired from a land-based silo.
In a statement, the Kremlin said: “Practical launches of ballistic and cruise missiles took place during the training.”
Putin is said to have sat in on the drills to monitor their progress.
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