Putin: Russia is against militarization of space but US sees it as theater of war

4 Dec, 2019

Russia has consistently opposed the idea of space militarization, but the actions of the US and its allies force Moscow to counterbalance this growing threat, President Vladimir Putin has said.

“Russia has always opposed and continues to oppose the militarization of space,” the president told a government meeting on military policies. Putin expressed concern over world powers increasing the capabilities of their space systems which have both military and dual-use applications.

“The US political and military leadership openly consider space a war theater,“ he said.“Developments demand that we pay increased attention to strengthening our orbital group as well as our rocket and space industries.”

Russia’s so-called orbital group is a constellation of more than 150 satellites, two thirds of which have military applications. Most of them are parts of military satellite communication systems, but Russia also has satellites monitoring launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles as well as short-range tactical missiles. This warning system was “significantly enhanced” over the recent years and tested successfully during the large-scale military drills in October, the president said.

His words, meanwhile, came as NATO finally made space its official war domain. During a summit in London on the 70th anniversary of the alliance on Wednesday, its members declared space “the fifth operational domain and committed to ensuring the security of telecommunications infrastructure, including 5G.

However, nothing has been publicly said regarding concrete steps in this direction or decisions made in this field.

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