Russian dictator Vladimir Putin recently escalated his rhetoric concerning nuclear weapons, according to The Guardian.
Putin announced that Russia had tested the nuclear-capable cruise missile Burevestnik. This comes after Russia signaled its intent to resume nuclear testing for the first time in over 30 years.
On Monday evening, Reuters reported that Putin has now set a 10-day deadline for Russian lawmakers to decide on withdrawing from the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Russia's envoy to the organization stated that Moscow would revoke its ratification of the treaty, a move condemned by Washington as a threat to "global norms."
The CTBT, established in 1996, prohibits nuclear test explosions both above and below ground. While India, Pakistan, and North Korea have not signed the treaty, the United States, along with China, Egypt, Iran, and Israel, have signed but not ratified it.
All countries, except North Korea, have agreed to refrain from nuclear testing.
Western security analysts view Russia's potential withdrawal from the treaty as a stark reminder that the country possesses the world's largest nuclear arsenal.
A Russian nuclear test could encourage other nations like the U.S. or China to follow suit, sparking a new arms race, according to Reuters.
Last week, Putin pointed out that unlike the U.S., Russia has both signed and ratified the treaty.
"I'm not prepared to say whether we really need to conduct tests or not, but it's theoretically possible to behave the same way as the U.S.," said the Russian leader, as reported by The Guardian. He added that no sane person could imagine using nuclear weapons against Russia.