• In November 2023, Russia revoked its ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

What is the ‘Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty’:

  • The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) is an agreement between countries to stop all nuclear explosions. The goal is to prevent the testing of nuclear weapons, both for peaceful and military purposes. The treaty aims to promote global peace and discourage the development of new nuclear weapons.

History of CTBT:

  • In 1945, The use of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II caused international concern about the destructive power of such weapons. Later, the Cold War led to a nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union.
  • In 1970, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was established, aiming to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and promote peaceful use of nuclear energy.
  • By the 1990s, there was growing global awareness of the environmental and health hazards associated with nuclear testing, which the NPT did not explicitly address. Moreover, there were nuclear stockpiling concerns.
  • Hence, in 1996, The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which bans all nuclear explosions for both civilian and military purposes.
  • However, CTBT is not fully implemented yet because it requires ratification by 44 specific countries with nuclear capabilities. Several countries including the United States, China, and India did not ratify it.
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Benefits of CTBT:

  • Even though CTBT did not come into force, it did a great job of reducing the number of nuclear tests and the development of nuclear weapons. From 19945 to 1996, approximately 2000 nuclear tests were conducted. But from 1996 until now, only 10 nuclear tests have been conducted. Moreover, these nuclear tests have been widely criticized.


Even though the CTBT hasn’t completely succeeded in getting rid of nuclear weapons, it has significantly reduced their development. However, Russia’s decision to withdraw support is a setback for the international efforts towards nuclear disarmament.

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