04:40 GMT12 April 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The claims by the United States that Russia illegally conducts nuclear testing lack evidence, the Arms Control Association said in a press release.

    "But no public evidence has ever been provided to support the claim of illegal Russian testing and Gen. Ashley didn’t provide any Wednesday", the Arms Control Association said. "Gen. Ashley also claimed that Russia has 'not affirmed the language of zero-yield.' But Russia has repeatedly affirmed publicly that they believe the treaty prohibits all nuclear test explosions".

    The association noted, for example, that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov emphasiыed in a 2017 op-ed that the treaty bans "any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion, anywhere on Earth, whatever the yield".

    The best way for Washington to enforce adherence to the zero-yield standard would be for President Donald Trump and the US Senate to support ratifying the treaty to help bring it into force, the association added.

    READ MORE: Russia Slams US Accusations Over Abidance by Nuclear Testing Moratorium

    Such a move would pave the way for "intrusive, short-notice, on-site inspections to detect and deter any possible cheating", the release said.

    The United States should propose confidence-building visits to test sites as allowed for by the treaty if it indeed has any "credible evidence" of Russia violating the treaty, it added.

    Russia's Permanent Representative to International Organisations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov has commented on the matter saying that Washington is trying to distract attention from its own destructive policy on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) by blaming Russia for violating the moratorium on nuclear tests.

    The release comes after US Defenсe Intelligence Agency (DIA) Director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley said that the United States believes Russia may not be adhering to the nuclear testing moratorium outlined in the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.


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