Weapons in space would undermine global stability – Russia

Reuters / NASA
The deployment of weapons to outer space must be prohibited, as an attack from Earth’s orbit could potentially target any country in the world at any time and ruin global stability, a Russian delegation said at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

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The risks of this becoming a reality are now more “likely in light of scientific and technological developments,” the Russian representatives said, as quoted by TASS.

Speaking at the plenary session on the prevention of an arms race in space, they drew attention to the draft treaty introduced by Russia and China last year.

The Russian delegation noted “it is not a complete recipe, but rather an invitation to work together on its future development.”

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The address stated that it is important to use the time when there are no weapons in space “to start substantive work on the text.”

At the same time, it has been a priority to pursue global policy initiatives to encourage countries not to become the first to place weapons in space, the delegation said, referring to “voluntary political commitments that would confirm peaceful nature of [nations’] space activities.”

READ MORE: Why Russia is against weapons in space

The prevention of the placement of weapons in orbit has been an important goal of Russia's foreign policy.

Russia has been promoting various initiatives that would prohibit the weaponization of space. One such project includes the draft resolution 'No First Placement of Arms in Outer Space,' presented at the UN General Assembly.

The draft resolution outlines further action to keep outer space free from weapons. One of the points included in the resolution is to discuss the issue at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, in order to create and adopt a binding international treaty on the prevention of placing arms in space.

The initiative was originally proposed by Russia and China in 2008, with an updated Russian-Chinese draft submitted to the Conference on Disarmament in June 2014.

Some space activities fall under international regulation of space law, as well as a series of treaties on nuclear disarmament and nuclear test bans. However, not all types of weapons are covered within this legal framework.