Saturday, March 7, 2009

From Russia, with ambivalence?

According to Stevie Smith of The Tech Herald, Russia has officially entered a space arms race, "Following a retired Russian general’s suggestion that February’s satellite collision was engineered by the United States, a deputy defence minister for the Russian government has revealed the country is developing an anti-satellite weapons system."

"According to an Associated Press report, General Valentin Popovkin has said the weapons array is being created as a way for Russia to push the modernisation of its nuclear capabilities and maintain momentum alongside similar technology held by other nations."

Meanwhile, according to Novosti, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said "an arms race in outer space is inadmissible and called on other world powers to unite efforts in countering missile threats."

"Prevention of an arms race in space will contribute to ensuring the predictability of the strategic situation and preserving the orbital property," Sergei Lavrov told a disarmament conference in Geneva, adding that all states using space objects for civilian purposes should be interested in it."

Lavrov said that in February last year Russia and China submitted a draft international treaty on prevention of outer space weaponization.

"We plan, jointly with China, to submit to your consideration soon a document generalizing the results of discussions that have taken place at the conference and containing reaction to comments on the draft treaty. We hope the document will become a good help for future talks," the Russian minister said.

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