Aug 07, 2022 06:28 UTC
  • Illustration from a report by US Defense Intelligence Agency on alleged Soviet efforts to militarize space.
    Illustration from a report by US Defense Intelligence Agency on alleged Soviet efforts to militarize space.

The US may try to use the persisting security crisis in Ukraine as a pretext to deploy armaments -- including nuclear weapons -- in space, Russia’s deputy UN envoy has warned.

“It is impossible to directly link the risks of the deployment of weapons in space to the [Russian] special military operation on the territory of Ukraine,” said Russian Deputy Representative to the United Nations Andrei Belousov on Friday in remarks to reporters on the sidelines of the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as quoted in an RT report.

“However, the fact remains that the United States and its allies will use the Ukrainian playing card as an additional argument in favor of implementing their military plans not only on land, at sea and in the air, but also in space,” he then emphasized, insisting that the US-led bloc of countries will most likely use Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine “as a pretext for the faster practical implementation of these plans.”

Pointing to Washington’s refusal to discuss a legally binding means to prevent an arms race in outer space over the past decade-and-a-half, the senior Russian diplomat then noted that such fact “speaks for itself.”

“It means that they did not plan to take on any additional obligations from the very start which would set limits on their military space plans,” Belousov further underlined. “We may well assume that these plans include the possibility of the deployment of nuclear weapons in space.”

While addressing the NPT review conference on the eve of Saturday’s 77th anniversary of the US nuclear bombing of Hiroshima that massacred more than 150,000 people, Belousov also reiterated Russia’s commitment “to freeing the world from the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons,” stressing that his country has reduced its strategic nuclear arsenal by 85 percent since the mid-1980s.

The diplomat also recalled that the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) between Moscow and Washington was extended for five years in February 2021 at Moscow’s initiative, and that Russia and the US had agreed on an expanded dialogue on strategic stability.