WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and U.S. Representatives Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement in response to Russia’s “de-ratification” of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
“Russia’s ‘de-ratification’ of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty lays bare Putin’s disdain for anything that might interfere with his nuclear ambitions. The CTBT, rejected by the Senate in 1999, is a hollow, fatally-flawed regime. Despite this obvious truth, the Biden Administration continues to waste time and money looking for ways to prop up this irrelevant treaty in hopes of reducing the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. defense. The administration should not allow a single additional U.S. taxpayer dollar to go towards implementing ineffective agreements. Instead, it should focus on holding our adversaries accountable for their actions and modernizing an aging nuclear deterrent that is increasingly not fit for the growing 21st century threats.”
Russia’s “de-ratification” of the CTBT is the latest in a series of Russian moves that demonstrate just how ineffective the treaty has been in curbing Putin’s nuclear ambitions. Russia consistently ignores the primary purpose of the agreement, conducting multiple nuclear tests at the Novaya Zemlya Test Site to inform its development of new and novel nuclear weapons. Moscow has also exploited its control of the CTBT’s International Monitoring System by deactivating radiation sensors to hide evidence of a failed test of its dangerous SKYFALL nuclear-powered cruise missile.
Even with these actions, the Biden Administration continues to waste taxpayer money looking for ways to prop up the treaty, which failed Senate ratification in 1999. These efforts have amounted to nothing more than attempts to undercut support for our Department of Defense and Department of Energy efforts to rebuild our aging deterrent as well as signal to our adversaries that we will ignore their violations of arms control agreements to the detriment of our own national security. The administration’s actions come at a uniquely dangerous time highlighted by the bipartisan Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States’ conclusion that the U.S. faces “the unprecedented existential challenge of facing two nuclear armed peer adversaries.”