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Russian delegation at UN calls on USA to join initiative to renounce weapons in space

Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova’s comment on the US initiative in the UN General Assembly First Committee

The other day, the US delegation submitted to the UN General Assembly First Committee an aide-memoire on proposed UN General Assembly resolution on destructive direct-ascent anti-satellite missile testing. We analysed the text to discover that our apprehensions concerning this US initiative were valid.

As before, we regard the moratorium on testing the above type of anti-satellite weapon (ASW) announced by the White House in April as a purely declarative move. The UN General Assembly statements and draft resolutions are clearly not enough to prevent an arms race in space (PARIS), all the more so for a country that has had experience – at least since 2008 – destroying space objects with ASW.

The United States remains bashfully silent about the most important thing: are they willing to permanently rule out the combat use of this type of weapon? The resolution says nothing about it. There are no commitments regarding the development and production of such systems, or the prospect of ever destroying the Pentagon’s existing anti-satellite capabilities.

Moreover, the possibility of deploying ASW means on the US reusable unmanned space shuttle X-37B, which is capable of staying in orbit for a long time, performing manoeuvres and carrying a payload, cannot be ruled out. By the way, our multiple requests to the United States to clarify the X-37B platform’s goals and objectives have so far remained unanswered.

Military dominance and superiority in outer space being set as clear goals in US doctrinal documents, their view of space as an arena of confrontation and their plans for achieving these goals are quite telling if one wants to understand Washington’s genuine motives. It is no coincidence that the US delegation at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament is doing its utmost to hinder the start of talks on a multilateral instrument which contains reliable international legal guarantees against deploying weapons of any kind in outer space and the renunciation of the use of force or the threat of force against space objects. The Americans are using every pretext to avoid working on the Russian-Chinese draft treaty designed to fulfill PARIS goals………………….

Washington can prove it has serious intentions if it revises its destructive stance and the US delegation that is participating in the Conference on Disarmament joins the efforts to start talks as soon as possible on a legally binding instrument with guarantees of non-deployment of weapons in space, non-use of force or threat of force against space objects.

Specifically, the approach promoted by Russia involves the following commitments:

– not to use space objects as a means of destroying any targets on Earth, in the air or outer space;

– not to create, test or deploy weapons in space to perform any tasks, including for anti-missile defence, anti-satellite activity, or use against targets on Earth or in the air, and to eliminate such systems that the states already possess;

– not to create, test, deploy or use space weapons for anti-missile defence, anti-satellite activity, or use against targets on Earth or in the air;

– not to destroy, damage, or disrupt the normal functioning and not to change the flight paths of space objects owned by other states;

– not to assist or encourage other states, groups of states, international, intergovernmental, or any non-governmental organisations, including non-governmental legal entities that were established, registered or located on the territory under their jurisdiction and/or control, to participate in the above activities.

In addition, the accession of the United States and its allies to the international initiative/political commitment not to be the first to place weapons of any kind in outer space would be a really important confidence-building measure. We are once again calling on Washington to follow the example of more than 30 UN member states and join this initiative, as well as to support the UNGA draft resolution on that matter.

We are ready to substantively and professionally discuss the US initiative in this context of multilateral efforts to arrive at a comprehensive solution to PARIS issues.


October 26, 2022 - Posted by | politics international, Russia, space travel, weapons and war

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