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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia, China Said Slowing Test Treaty

GENEVA -- U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher said Monday that the five major powers were moving closer to a nuclear test ban treaty, but conceded that China and Russia still had positions at odds with the others.

He said he told the other nuclear powers during talks here that they and the United States had a unique responsibility to secure a comprehensive test ban treaty, or CTBT, in 1996 and "we must lead the way in ... synchronizing our own approaches."

In a separate meeting, he warned India and other non-aligned states that their attempts to link the test ban treaty with a specific timetable for complete nuclear disarmament will ensure that neither goal is achieved.

Christopher said a global treaty opened for signature by September was "one of our highest [U.S.] national strategic priorities." Recent U.S. data suggesting Russia may have conducted a nuclear explosion could have added tensions to the two-year-old negotiations.

But Christopher said, "We believe they are complying with their self-imposed moratorium."

Also, the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna said it could not support claims of a Russian test.

Senior U.S. officials said privately on Sunday that Washington had recently had indications of a possible Russian test, but the data was not definitive.