WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States believes Russia may be conducting low-level nuclear testing in violation of a moratorium on such tests, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency said on Wednesday.
"The United States believes that Russia probably is not adhering to its nuclear testing moratorium in a manner consistent with the ‘zero-yield’ standard," Lieutenant General Robert P. Ashley said at an arms control forum at the Hudson Institute.
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Negotiated in the 1990s, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) enjoys wide global support but must be ratified by eight more nuclear technology states — among them Israel, Iran, Egypt and the United States — to come into force.
Russia ratified the treaty in 2000.
"We believe they have the capability in the way they are set up" to conduct low-level nuclear tests that exceed the zero yield limit set in the CTBT, Ashley said.
(Reporting by Jonathan Landay; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Susan Thomas)