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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Test Ban to Be Sent to Duma

The government is finalizing a set of documents needed to present a global nuclear test ban treaty to the State Duma for ratification, Foreign Ministry spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin said Thursday.

All five declared nuclear powers, the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China, have signed the treaty, but only Britain and France have ratified it.

Russia carried out its last explosion in October 1990 and has since observed a self-imposed moratorium on tests.

President Bill Clinton also is trying, with little chance of success, to get the treaty ratified. The Republicans who hold the majority in the Senate say the U.S. nuclear weapons program will suffer without adequate testing and that the treaty is impossible to verify.

Democrats acknowledged Thursday that there seemed to be little way to either ratify of the treaty or persuade Republicans to postpone Tuesday's vote.

With virtually no Republican support, the treaty appeared headed to near-certain defeat in the Senate.

That would represent a humiliating defeat for the administration, which has led an international campaign for the treaty. So far, 154 nations have signed the treaty, but it has only been ratified by 48.

Rakhmanin said Moscow wanted the CTBT, backed by a viable verification system, to take effect as soon as possible.

He said the Russian delegation at this week's United Nations CTBT review conference in Vienna would support the treaty's comprehensive nature and invite all countries working on nuclear programs to join it.