US officials angrily rejected the prediction by a Russian envoy that the US would withdraw from the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT),saying the claim was “crafty, Soviet-like propaganda” and that the US wouldn’t do that.
Russia’s claim didn’t come out of the clear blue sky, however. Andrey Belousov noted that the US kept expressing doubts about Russia’s compliance with the CTBT, and speculated this might be done to justify a US pullout from the deal.
That was the exact path the US went down on the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, repeatedly claiming Russian violations then withdrawing. In both cases, Russia denied the violations took place.
The US allegations of Russia secretly violating the CTBT is much flimsier than the INF claims as well, since there exists a major global network designed to detect any nuclear weapons tests, and they haven’t detected any Russian tests, which is nearly a perfect guarantee that none happened.
Indeed, US allegations of Russian CTBT violations are on such a flimsy footing that it’s unthinkable that the US would even both to offer them if they aren’t paving the way for some sort of move, not necessarily withdrawing from that treaty, but something escalatory.