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Russia: Duma Approves Global Nuclear Test Ban

Moscow, 21 April 2000 (RFE/RL) - Russia's State Duma today approved the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The treaty bans all forms of nuclear testing but does not cut weapons. The United States has signed it but the U.S. Senate failed to ratify it last year. Among the other major nuclear powers, France and Britain also have ratified the treaty. China has signed it but has yet to ratify it. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov expressed his satisfaction at today's vote. "The implementation of this treaty will create a serious barrier in the road to proliferation of nuclear weapons. We all want that to happen. We understand how important this is. For this reason, we are profoundly satisfied that the deputies have endorsed this bill with such a majority."

Earlier today, the Security Council approved Russia's new military doctrine. The doctrine reserves Russia's right to be the first to use nuclear weapons.

Precise details of the document were not immediately clear. In February, when the doctrine received its first preliminary approval, the West reacted with concern saying it is tougher than a previous version.