(DailyVantage.com) – According to Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, the United States is actively working on and preparing a nuclear testing facility in Nevada. Ryabkov claims that despite the preparatory work being done by the United States at the facility, Russia will not perform its nuclear testing unless Washington does first.
Ryabkov’s comments come just weeks after Russia began trying to revoke a ban on nuclear tests that numerous countries had signed. The accusations from Ryabkov are alarming to many, as some believe Russia will use the alleged nuclear work to justify the development and implementation of nuclear arms during its ongoing conflict with Ukraine.
The last nuclear tests performed by either country occurred during the 1990s but ended once the Soviet Union collapsed. Should the United States and Russia continue their halted nuclear programs, other countries like China or Iran might begin their nuclear programs, prompting fears of another global atomic arms race. According to Ryabkov, Russia has no choice but to consider de-ratifying the ban on nuclear testing if Washington begins nuclear testing.
According to a spokesperson from the United States State Department, Ryabkov’s comments concern high-ranking officials within the United States government. According to the State Department, Russia is primarily concerned with coercing other nations’ actions through nuclear threats. Despite Russia’s claims that nuclear testing might resume, officials from the United States aren’t entirely convinced that Russian President Vladimir Putin will commit to developing nuclear weapons due to the international scrutiny such a policy would induce. Although Western nations are supplying Ukraine with arms and economic packages to aid in the ongoing conflict with Russia, the use of nuclear arms would invite further interference from Ukraine’s allies.
Although Russia halted the development of nuclear weapons in the 1990s, the country also actively developed and refined nuclear-powered technology before the ban took effect. One such example is the infamous nuclear-powered submarine once owned by Russia, which remains in the Arctic Ocean after sinking in 1989. The presence of a former Soviet submarine in the Arctic concerns many, as the submarine is leaking radioactive waste into the surrounding waters. While the primary concern regarding Russia is the potential use of nuclear arms, others believe that Soviet-era nuclear mishaps are an equitable threat. Despite the claims from Ryabkov, nuclear testing by Russia remains incredibly unlikely unless the United States begins testing its own atomic devices.
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