Monday, June 24, 2024

Russia Denies Allegations of U.S. Space Weapons as False Information

Russian Diplomat Refutes US Claims of Anti-Satellite Weapon Launch

Russia’s top arms control diplomat has dismissed as fake news the United States’ assertion that Russia had launched a weapon into low-Earth orbit capable of inspecting and attacking other satellites. The Kremlin has denied claims by U.S. officials that Moscow is developing a space-based anti-satellite nuclear weapon, but U.S. Space Command confirmed on Tuesday that Russia had launched an anti-satellite weapon.

The United States pointed to a launch earlier this month of a Soyuz rocket from Russia’s Plesetsk launch site. While Russia’s defense ministry stated that the May 17 launch had a spacecraft on board, they did not provide any details. U.S. Space Command believes that the launch was likely a counterspace weapon capable of attacking other satellites in low Earth orbit.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov responded to the U.S. claims, stating, “I don’t think we should respond to any fake news from Washington.” He emphasized that Russia has always opposed the deployment of strike weapons in low-Earth orbit.

Despite denials from President Vladimir Putin and former defense minister Sergei Shoigu in February, U.S. Space Command said the recent launch included a Russian military “inspector” spacecraft known as COSMOS 2576, which has been flagged for reckless space behavior by U.S. officials.

Ryabkov noted that Russia’s space program is progressing as planned, with a focus on strengthening defense capabilities. He criticized the United States for rejecting Russian proposals to enhance the security of space activities, including a treaty to prevent an arms race in space.

As tensions continue to rise in space diplomacy, both countries are likely to face challenges in navigating their conflicting interests in orbit.

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