Home » Russia vetoes US-backed UN resolution to ban nuclear weapons in space

Russia vetoes US-backed UN resolution to ban nuclear weapons in space

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Russia vetoes US-backed UN resolution to ban nuclear weapons in space

CNN: Russia Vetoes UN Resolution on Nuclear Weapons in Space Amid Growing Concerns

In a contentious move at the United Nations on Wednesday, Russia vetoed a resolution proposing to ban the use of nuclear weapons in outer space. This decision comes amidst worries backed by US intelligence that Moscow is in the process of developing a nuclear device capable of destroying satellites.

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, criticized the UN draft as a “dirty spectacle” and a “cynical strategy” orchestrated by the resolution’s supporters, the United States and Japan.

In February, US President Joe Biden confirmed that the United States possesses intelligence indicating Russia’s development of an anti-satellite nuclear capability. Sources familiar with the information later disclosed that the weapon could disable satellites by generating a massive energy wave upon detonation.

Before the veto, senior US officials raised concerns that Russia’s opposition to the resolution may suggest they are concealing potential weapons capabilities.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield mirrored these apprehensions in her speech following the vote, questioning Russia’s motives and pointing out that China’s decision to abstain from voting aligns it with Russia rather than upholding global non-proliferation efforts.

The resolution, jointly proposed by the United States and Japan and supported by over 60 member states, emphasized the need for UN member states to refrain from deploying nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in Earth’s orbit.

The possibility of nuclear weapons in space has evoked heightened fears in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has led to the most significant land conflict in Europe since World War II. The strain in US-Russia relations has intensified, with the White House expressing concerns over a potential Russian nuclear space weapon.

Experts suggest that such a weapon could pose a significant threat to satellite constellations, like SpaceX’s Starlink, potentially impacting global communication networks. Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously indicated a readiness to use nuclear weapons in defense of Russia but emphasized that such extreme measures have not been necessary thus far.

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Despite international calls for restraint, tensions remain high as Russia continues to prioritize space projects and nuclear capabilities. The veto of the UN resolution marks a missed opportunity to enhance confidence in existing arms control agreements and uphold global security standards.

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