Satellite check was not a weapon, Russia says

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The UK stated Russia’s area operations “danger inflicting particles that might pose a menace to satellites”

Accusations from the US and UK that Russia just lately examined anti-satellite weaponry in area are “distorted”, Russia’s defence ministry says.

“Tests carried out [on 15 July] didn’t create a menace for different spacecraft,” the ministry stated, including that it had not violated worldwide regulation.

Moscow stated earlier that it had been utilizing new know-how to carry out checks on Russian area gear.

But the US and UK stated they have been involved concerning the satellite tv for pc exercise.

“We are involved by the style by which Russia examined certainly one of its satellites by launching a projectile with the traits of a weapon,” the pinnacle of the UK’s area directorate, Air Vice Marshal Harvey Smyth, stated on Thursday.

It is the primary time that the UK has made accusations about Russian test-firing in area, and comes simply days after an inquiry stated the UK government “badly underestimated” the threat posed by Russia.

The US State Department additionally stated it had noticed the use by Russia of “what would look like precise in-orbit anti-satellite weaponry”.

What has Russia stated about its satellite tv for pc assessments?

In a press release on Friday, Russia’s international ministry stated that one of many nation’s “inspector” satellites had “carried out a test of a Russian spacecraft at shut vary with the usage of specialised small spacecraft equipment”.

It stated the operation “didn’t violate any norms or rules of worldwide regulation”.

The ministry accused the US and UK of “once more making an attempt to current the state of affairs in a distorted method as a way to… justify their steps to deploy weapons in area and obtain funding to that finish”.

“We think about this newest anti-Russian assault as a part of an info marketing campaign initiated by Washington targeted on discrediting Russian area actions,” the assertion, quoted by the Interfax information company, added.

Moscow earlier stated that final week’s satellite tv for pc check had resulted in “priceless details about the technical situation of the thing below investigation” being recorded.

Why are the US and UK involved?

In a press release on Thursday, Gen Jay Raymond, who heads US area command, stated there was proof Russia had “carried out a check of a space-based anti-satellite weapon”.

“This is additional proof of Russia’s persevering with efforts to develop and check space-based programs and [is] in step with the Kremlin’s revealed army doctrine to make use of weapons that maintain US and allied area property in danger,” he stated.

US Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Non-proliferation, Christopher Ford, accused Moscow of hypocrisy after it stated it needed arms management to be prolonged to area.

“Moscow goals to limit the capabilities of the United States whereas clearly having no intention of halting its personal counter-space programme,” he stated.

The US stated the Russian satellite tv for pc system was the same one it raised concerns about in 2018 and earlier this yr, when the US accused it of manoeuvring near an American satellite tv for pc.

Air Vice Marshal Smyth added: “Actions of this type threaten the peaceable use of area and danger inflicting particles that might pose a menace to satellites and the area programs on which the world relies upon.”

Russia, the UK, the US and China are amongst greater than 100 nations to have dedicated to an area treaty that stipulates that outer area is to be explored by all and purely for peaceable functions.

The treaty provides that weapons shouldn’t be positioned in orbit or in area.

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