Defence Minister: Russia not About to Resume Nuclear Tests

Having inspected nuclear testing grounds on the island of Novaya Zemlya, Sergei Ivanov, Russia's Defence Minister, said, 'The Russian Federation is not about to resume full-scale nuclear tests, her President and government firmly adhering to the country's international obligations'.

According to the press service of the administration of the Arkhangelsk Region, yesterday, Russia's governmental delegation lead by the Defence Minister visited the country's only central nuclear testing grounds in Novaya Zemlya to look into the progress of the work done to assure the safety of storing and transporting nuclear weapons and to check on the degree of their battle readiness.

Nuclear tests at the grounds were stopped in 1990. However, so-called hydrodynamic or sub-critical tests continue. These tests do not involve any release of atomic energy and serve to assure the safety and battle readiness of the arsenal.

The Defence Minister said, at this time, there were four alternative projects concerning placing a nuclear waste storage in Novaya Zemlya. Anatoly Efremov, the Governor of the Arkhangelsk Region, said, 'Nothing is done in this way unless approved by our administration. In its turn, the administration does care about the living conditions of the residents of Novaya Zemlya'.

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