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20 Feb, 2024 16:25

Russia comments on ‘nukes in space’ allegation

President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu have both addressed the US rumors
Russia comments on ‘nukes in space’ allegation

Russia has not deployed nuclear weapons in space and does not intend to do so, President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Tuesday.

Multiple US media outlets claimed last week that Russia may have undisclosed anti-satellite capabilities, possibly nuclear in nature, deeming it a significant national security threat. The rumors were based on a press release from the House of Representatives, widely seen as a way of pressuring Congress to quickly approve more than $60 billion in military aid to Ukraine.

“Our position is clear and transparent: We have always been categorically against the deployment of nuclear weapons in space,” said Putin. “Not only have we called for everyone to uphold the treaties already in effect, but repeatedly insisted on strengthening them.” 

Shoigu, who was at the Kremlin to report on the military operation against Ukraine, also addressed the rumors coming from the US.

“Russia has not deployed and does not intend to deploy nuclear weapons in space,” the defense minister stated. “There are no plans to do so.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov similarly addressed the US claims last week, dismissing them as a ploy to push the Ukraine aid bill through the House of Representatives.

It’s clear that the White House is trying, by hook or by crook, to push Congress to vote on a bill to approve funding [for Ukraine]. We’ll see what tricks the White House will use,” he said.

John Kirby, spokesman for the US National Security Council, denied that the “space nukes” rumors were a White House ploy and claimed the threat was real, but not immediate.

The presence of nuclear weapons in space has been banned since 1967 by the Outer Space Treaty, originally signed by the US, Soviet Union, and the UK. More than 100 countries have since joined the treaty.