Washington (May 29, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, stressed that Russia should abide by a strict “zero-yield” standard for any nuclear tests necessary to promote safety and reliability. He also urged the Trump administration to fulfill its responsibilities to strengthen the global nonproliferation regime and fully inform U.S. Senators of pressing national security developments like the news from today.


“It’s troubling that Russia may be conducting low-yield nuclear tests,” said Senator Markey. “I look forward to seeing evidence that the tests go beyond the zero-yield experiments allowed by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.


“This claim is not new among those who oppose a test ban, and preparations for the two kinds of tests are very similar. That’s why the Trump administration must share – immediately and in detail – any information about new nuclear activities by Russia.


“If these reports constitute new activity, the Administration should initiate test-site visits allowed by the treaty and hold Russia accountable for any malign behavior. But we should not be pushed into shortsighted moves, like resuming nuclear testing, abandoning arms control agreements, or developing more low-yield weapons.


“Nuclear weapons tests threaten our security and our environment, but the United States cannot match aggression with aggression. My ‘Hold the LYNE’ Act would prohibit funds for the development of additional low-yield weapons. A smarter way to promote U.S. national security interests and reduce the risks of conflict or accidents would be to extend the New START Treaty and to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. It is imperative that we reinforce the global moratorium against nuclear testing and use.”