Nov 2 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin on Thursday signed a law withdrawing Russia’s ratification of the global treaty banning nuclear weapons tests, a step condemned by the organisation which promotes adherence to the landmark arms control pact.

The move, though expected, is evidence of the deep chill between the United States and Russia, whose ties are at their lowest level since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis over the war in Ukraine and what Moscow casts as Washington’s attempts to stymie the emergence of a new multipolar world order.

Washington expressed deep concern about Russia’s decision and it was a step in the wrong direction.

“Russia’s action will only serve to set back confidence in the international arms control regime,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

Moscow says its deratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) is merely designed to bring Russia into line with the United States, which signed but never ratified the treaty. Russia will not resume nuclear testing unless Washington does, say Russian diplomats.

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