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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 21, 2000


I am pleased that the Russian State Duma today approved the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). I look forward to prompt action on the CTBT by the Federation Council, which also approved the START II Treaty earlier this week.

More than 150 countries have signed the CTBT so far, agreeing to stop all nuclear explosive testing. Ratification of the CTBT by Russia would mean that 30 of the 44 states whose ratification is required for entry into force have now approved this historic agreement, including many U.S. friends and allies. Approval of the CTBT by Russia - as well as the recent approvals by Chile, Bangladesh and Turkey - renews momentum for the international effort to halt the spread of nuclear weapons and promote disarmament around the world.

I congratulate President-elect Putin and his government, members of the State Duma, and Russian citizens who together worked to achieve this important step toward a safer future.