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At UN, Russia Blocks US Move On Nuclear Weapons In Space



Putin said earlier this year that Russia was against the deployment of nuclear weapons in space.

United Nations:

Russia vetoed on Wednesday a U.S.-drafted United Nations Security Council resolution that called on countries to prevent an arms race in outer space, a move that the United States says suggests Moscow might be “hiding something.”

“It’s a joke of a resolution,” Russia‘s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters ahead of the vote.

The vote came after Washington accused Moscow of developing a space-based anti-satellite nuclear weapon, an allegation that Russia has denied. Speaking ahead of the vote by the 15-member council, U.S. administration officials declined to share details of intelligence they had to back the allegation.

Deputy U.S. Ambassador Robert Wood told reporters ahead of the vote that if Russia did not vote for the resolution “it makes you wonder whether they’re hiding something.”

The draft Security Council resolution was put to a vote by the U.S. and Japan after nearly six weeks of negotiations. It received 13 votes in favor, while China abstained and Russia cast a veto.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier this year that Russia was against the deployment of nuclearweaponsinspace.

“Our position is clear and transparent: We have always been categorically against and are now against the deployment of nuclearweaponsinspace,” Putin said.

The U.N. text would have affirmed an obligation to comply with the Outer Space Treaty and called on states “to contribute actively to the objective of the peaceful use of outer space and of the prevention of an arms race in outer space.”

The 1967 Outer Space Treaty bars signatories – including Russia and the United States – from placing “in orbit around the Earth any objects carrying nuclearweapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction.

U.S. intelligence officials, according to three people familiar with their findings, believe the Russian capability to be a space-based nuclear bomb whose electromagnetic radiation if detonated would disable vast networks of satellites.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby has said Russia has not yet deployed such a weapon.

Governments have increasingly viewed satellites in Earth’s orbit as crucial assets that enable an array of military capabilities on Earth, with space-based communications and satellite-connected drones in the war in Ukraine serving as recent examples of space‘s outsized role in modern warfare.

Russiainvaded neighboring Ukraine in February 2022.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said earlier this month that Moscow and Washington were in contact over the non-deployment of nuclearweaponsinspace, the TASS news agency quoted him as saying.

“We are in contact in that they rejected further discussions of the topic,” said a senior U.S. administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I don’t know if he’s referencing something else, but that has been the level of contact that we’ve had on this topic.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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