No place for weapons in outer space

Ambassador's view
Dr Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Deputy foreign minister (2005-2011). Follow him on Twitter @Amb_Yakovenko
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Preventing the deployment of weapons in outer space remains one of the key objectives of Russian diplomacy.

On October 23, on the margins of the UN General Assembly, the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) adopted a Joint Statement in support of the draft Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects (PPWT).

READ MORE: Weapons in space would undermine global stability – Russia

Russia and its partners share the concern over the risk of an arms race in outer space and believe that it can only be addressed by means of a legally-binding instrument based on the current draft PPWT.

Preventing the deployment of weapons in outer space remains one of the key objectives of Russian diplomacy. The current legal framework in this sphere does not guarantee secure space, leaving room for a possible arms race. Safe space will contribute to international security and stability, trust and predictability in relations between states.

READ MORE: Why Russia is against weapons in space

We are committed to the goal of keeping outer space weapons-free and ensuring its further use only for peaceful purposes. An updated version of the draft has been introduced at the Conference on Disarmament in June 2014 in Geneva by Russia and China. We call upon the international community to unite their efforts in launching negotiations on the document at the Conference on Disarmament.

Among other Russian initiatives on this issue is the resolution on No First Placement of Arms in Outer Space that was adopted at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly.

The overwhelming voting result (126 votes in favor) has confirmed that the Russian initiative on preventing the weaponization of space is winning growing support in the international community.

READ MORE: Russia’s no arms in outer space initiative gains support

The composition of the handful of countries that voted against the resolution (the United States, Israel, Georgia and Ukraine) is revealing. The resolution provides the basis for further action to keep outer space free from any kind of weapons and to ensure that all countries have an equal opportunity for its peaceful use.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.