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Russia Responds to Pentagon Defense Space Strategy

June 21, 2020 (EIRNS)—On June 19, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement expressing Moscow’s readiness to discuss problems of activities in outer space within the existing Russian-U.S. dialogue agreement. “We see a possibility to remove mutual concerns within a comprehensive meaningful Russian-U.S. dialogue on a wide spectrum of issues of security of space activities. An agreement to organize such dialogue was reached on January 16,” the ministry said, reported TASS.

However, the ministry stated that the new U.S. space strategy

“reveals Washington’s aggressive course in the space sector. It clearly sets the ultimate goal of securing the United States’ military dominance in outer space. So, Pentagon’s activities will be focused on military uses of space potential. ... To justify this destructive course that instigates arms race in outer space and destabilizes the situation in the area of international security, Washington uses its routine tactic of accusing others. American colleagues speak about Russia’s and China’s alleged strategic threats in outer space and never bother to give any proof. Instead, they opt for a thesis about the changed strategic situation and another confrontation of great powers, where outer space is a central arena,”

the ministry said. “They are citing provisions of the 2014 Russian military doctrine, without any concrete details, as a factor of turning outer space into an area for combat operations. Naturally, there is nothing of the kind in Russia’s military doctrine.”

The statement observes that the U.S., proposes standards of safe and responsible conduct in outer space, but avoids anything that’s legally binding, such as the Russian-Chinese draft treaty on prohibiting weapons in outer space, as well as the use of force against space facilities. “All the existing and any extra concerns of states about weapons in space may and must be removed at the negotiating table. We will continue efforts in this direction geared towards concrete results,” the ministry went on. The ministry warned that “armed confrontation in outer space may have pernicious impacts on international security and strategic stability.”

This issue was also discussed by a Russian-French parliamentary commission co-chaired by Sen. Konstantin Kosachev of the Russian Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee and Sen. Christian Cambon of the French Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. They had first met in April to discuss Russian-French relations.

“The issue of the militarization of space is extremely important. If we don’t pool our efforts now, at some point an arms race could erupt in space which would be equally difficult to stop as it is currently impossible to stop an arms race on Earth.... It seems to me that here Russia and France may have an additional field for interaction. In my opinion, our interests do not contradict each other,”

Kosachev said.

Kosachev implied that both the U.K. and France are following the lead of the U.S. in the militarization of space.

“I am not saying that you are placing some sort of weapons in space, but in any case there is no willingness to discuss any legally binding documents on the prevention of the militarization of space at the level of the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, as is constantly suggested both by Russia and China.”

Cambon emphasized that “France will always be with Russia on the issue of demilitarization of space...it is utterly unacceptable to place military weapons in space,” and stated that the French space program is “absolutely peaceful in nature and is not in any way directed at any hostile action towards Russia, or other countries. ... I think that as two large space nations, Russia and France can achieve a lot” through international dialogue, Cambon insisted.

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