Russia urges all countries to prevent arms race in outer space — diplomat

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GENEVA, August 14. /TASS/. Moscow calls on the global community to develop consensus measures to keep outer space free from weapons, which will contribute to strengthening peace and security, Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Office and other international organizations in Geneva Gennady Gatilov said at a plenary meeting of the Conference on Disarmament on Wednesday.

“We call on all states to have a meaningful, constructive conversation to prevent an arms race in outer space with a view to jointly developing consensus measures to keep outer space free from weapons and thereby strengthen international peace and global security,” the diplomat said.

“There is no time to spare,” he stressed. “Missing this chance will be a crime against future generations.”

Gatilov recalled that, in 2004, Russia assumed the obligation not to be the first to deploy weapons in outer space. To date, 21 countries have become full-fledged participants in that initiative. The head of the Russian mission voiced regret and concern over the fact that none of the Western countries, primarily from among the ones significant in terms of space exploration, expressed a desire to join it until now.

Gatilov stressed that the implementation of intentions to bring weapons to the near-Earth space would have an adverse effect on international security and global stability.

“Thanks to efforts made by individual Western countries, we are entering a new space era,” he noted. “We can say with a high degree of probability that it will be marked by further degradation of trust between nations.”

The diplomat described statements on deploying weapons in outer space and their potential combat use as “an ultimatum to the global community” and the intention to seek uncontrolled dominance in outer space. He noted that this would give an opportunity for individual countries to dictate their terms both in the low Earth orbit and on Earth.

Russia remains committed to “finding reliable ways to keep outer space free from weapons of any kind,” Gatilov noted. One of the ways of achieving that goal would be “a legally binding treaty on preventing the deployment of weapons in outer space based on the principles and norms of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty,” he said. The diplomat explained that the signing of such an agreement and participation of countries most active in space in it would make it possible to remove preconditions for turning outer space into the armed confrontation sphere.”

The Conference on Disarmament consists of 65 countries. It was established in 1979 following the first special UN General Assembly session on disarmament held in 1978 as the only international negotiating forum of the global community to hammer out disarmament agreements.


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