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  • U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, 2017.

    U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, 2017. | Photo: AFP

Published 24 July 2020
Opinion

Moscow rejects accusations from the U.S. and UK that Russia recently tested anti-satellite weaponry in space.

The United States and Russia next week will conduct on Monday in Vienna their first formal, bilateral talks on space security since 2013, following a U.S. allegation that Russia tested a space-based anti-satellite weapon this month, a U.S. official said on Friday.

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The U.S. assistant secretary of State for international security and nonproliferation, Christopher Ford, said Washington hopes to promote norms of responsible behavior in outer space, calling for greater stability, predictability and crisis management tools.

Ford told reporters the United States believed Russia and China have already turned space into “a war-fighting domain,” noting the U.S. Space Command has said it has evidence that Russia tested a space-based anti-satellite weapon on July 15.

On the issue, the head of the UK's space directorate, Air Vice Marshal Harvey Smyth, also showed concern ‘’by the manner in which Russia tested one of its satellites by launching a projectile with the characteristics of a weapon’’.

In a statement on Friday, Russia's foreign ministry said that one of the country's inspector satellites had carried out a check of a Russian spacecraft at close range with the use of specialized small spacecraft apparatus.

Also stressed that tests carried out on July 15 did not create a threat for other spacecraft, neither violated international law.

The ministry accused the US and UK of "again attempting to present the situation in a distorted manner in order to... justify their steps to deploy weapons in space and achieve funding to that end".

Russia, the UK, the US and China are among more than 100 nations to have committed to a space treaty that stipulates that outer space is to be explored by all and purely for peaceful purposes.

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