Unlike Washington, Russia has not enshrined the goal of achieving military supremacy in outer space

Maria zakharova

November 24, 2021, 1:15 pm

Last modification: November 24, 2021, 01:23 PM

Maria Zakharova. Illustration: SCT

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Maria Zakharova. Illustration: SCT

In light of the many media inquiries we have received, it is necessary to provide some clarification regarding the successful Defense Ministry test on November 15 of this year. The test resulted in the destruction of the inactive Russian satellite Tselina-D which had been in orbit since 1982.

The test was conducted in strict accordance with international law, including the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, and was not directed against anyone. Considering the timing of the test and the orbital parameters, the debris it produced created no threat and posed no obstacle or difficulty to the operation of orbital stations and spacecraft, or to other space activities. This debris was recorded in the main register of the home space control system. Surveillance began instantly and will continue until the debris no longer exists.

These actions were part of the Defense Ministry’s defense capability plan to prevent sudden damage to national security in space and on Earth by current and future space technology from other states.

The inactive Russian satellite Tselina-D was destroyed. Photo: Russian Space Web

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The inactive Russian satellite Tselina-D was destroyed.  Photo: Russian Space Web

The inactive Russian satellite Tselina-D was destroyed. Photo: Russian Space Web

In this context, it should be noted that since the 1950s, the United States has consistently followed a trajectory towards the use of space for combat operations and the deployment of offensive weapons systems in order to achieve military supremacy or even total domination of space. These objectives are set out in the updated Defense Space Strategy and US Space Force doctrine.

To achieve these goals, Washington and its allies are conducting large-scale programs to develop weapon systems designed to respond to the threat or use of force in space, from space, or involving space. , including preventive actions. I’m primarily referring to the creation of a space-based missile defense group (including interceptors) and ways to illegally impact elements of orbital space infrastructure.

Washington’s activities include in-orbit testing of its latest different-type attack systems without any prior notification. This also applies to the destruction of its own space equipment. For example, on February 20, 2008, an SM-3 anti-missile destroyed a USA-193 satellite. In the 1980s, the Pentagon also tested its anti-satellite systems on the F-15A aircraft platform.

The US X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, a reusable robotic spacecraft, also has the potential to arm space. It can stay in orbit for a long time, maneuver and carry a payload. We have asked our American colleagues to explain what are the specific objectives and tasks of the current X-37B mission, but our questions remain unanswered.

Unlike Washington, Russia has not enshrined the goal of achieving military supremacy in space in its doctrines. On the contrary, from the very beginning of space exploration, we have adhered to a coherent policy of preventing an arms race in space and preserving it for peaceful purposes. In this regard, we believe that it is necessary to begin, as soon as possible, to coordinate an instrument on the prevention of an arms race in outer space which is binding under international law. There is a basis for such work – the draft Russian-Chinese treaty on the prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space and the threat or use of force against space objects (PPWT) .

The agreement we are proposing could include a ban on placing any kind of weapons in space, as well as on the threat or use of force in space, from space or involving space. We also call on States to assume the following obligations:

  • not to use space objects as weapons of destruction against targets on Earth, in the atmosphere or in outer space;

  • not destroy, damage or disrupt the normal operation, or alter the flight path, of space objects of other States;

  • not to create, test or deploy space weapons of any kind for the performance of any task, including missile defense, or as anti-satellite weapons, for use against targets on Earth or in the atmosphere , and eliminate systems that are already in the possession of States;

  • not to test or use manned spacecraft for military purposes, including anti-satellite activity;

  • not to assist or encourage other States, groups of States and international, intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations, including non-governmental legal entities established, registered or located in the territory under their jurisdiction and / or control, to participate to the above activities.

As an intermediate step, we consider the international initiative / political commitment of Russia not to be the first to place weapons in space, which, at present, is the only effective tool to maintain the free space of weapons. Thirty states participate fully.

We reaffirm our willingness to discuss all space security issues with all stakeholders, including the United States. We are convinced that the talks on an international agreement banning the deployment of any kind of weapons in outer space and the threat or use of force against space objects offer the right way to ease tensions and allay the concerns of people. States within the framework of ensuring the security of space activities.


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