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18 Jan, 2019 20:22

Russia warns US against arms race on Earth & space after missile defense plans revealed

Russia warns US against arms race on Earth & space after missile defense plans revealed

US rejection of any limitations on missile defense programs and readiness to weaponize space has drawn a blunt reaction from Moscow, with the Russian Foreign Ministry warning Washington not to restart the Cold War-era arms race.

Describing the US Missile Defense Review (MDR) published Thursday as “openly confrontational,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said the document shows Washington’s intent to establish military dominance and ability to conduct military operations anywhere on the planet with impunity, while rejecting any limitations on missile defense efforts.

“We would like to note that the very same logic served as the foundation of the widespread nuclear missile race that brought the world to the brink of disaster multiple times,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday, adding that the US leadership has “apparently decided to step on the same rake, with predictable consequences.”

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Of particular alarm is the notion of deploying not just sensors but also weaponry in orbit, the Foreign Ministry said. The MDR “practically gives the green light to deploying elements with strike capability in space.”

Implementation of these ideas will “inevitably lead to an arms race in space, which would have the worst kind of consequences for international security and stability,” the Foreign Ministry added, calling on Washington to “come to its senses” and abandon the attempt to revive the ‘Star Wars’ program proposed under the Reagan administration in the 1980s.

This will not improve the security of either the US or its allies and partners, but have the entirely opposite effect – striking a “heavily blow to international stability, which is already falling apart thanks to irresponsible actions by Washington,” it said. “Obviously, no one wins in this scenario.”

At the Helsinki summit in July last year, Russia proposed a full restoration of Russo-American talks on all issues related to arms control and international security, the Foreign Ministry said, noting that Washington has yet to respond. It called on the US to find the political will to work together on strategic issues “before it is too late.”

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Russia’s Foreign Ministry’s warnings echo the military experts’ understanding of the MDR, which not only envisioned the weaponization of space but also reserved the right for pre-emptive military strikes against missiles deemed to pose a threat to the US or its allies.

“Militarization of space is inevitable, and the United States will quit any relevant non-proliferation treaty that stands in the way," Col. Mikhail Khodarenok, military expert and retired officer who served in the Russian missile defense forces, told RT on Thursday. The day before, US diplomats announced that Washington would be leaving the 1987 INF treaty, placing limitations on specific missiles in Europe.

However, Khodarenok was confident that any current or even future missile defenses would be useless against missiles currently in the Russian arsenal, such as Avangard.

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