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Russia Vetoes Partial Ban on Weapons in Space, U.S. Vetoes Complete Ban

April 25, 2024 (EIRNS)—On the surface, and as played by Western news media, Russia yesterday vetoed a U.S.- and Japan-sponsored draft UN Security Council resolution that would have called on all countries not to develop or deploy nuclear arms or other weapons of mass destruction in space, as banned under the 1967 Outer Space Treaty that included the U.S. and Russia, and to agree to the need to verify compliance, AP reported last night.

Then the U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, after noting that Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Moscow has no intention of deploying nuclear weapons in space, followed up: “Today’s veto begs the question: Why? Why, if you are following the rules, would you not support a resolution that reaffirms them? What could you possibly be hiding? It’s baffling. And it’s a shame.”

Russian UN Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia explained that the reason behind the Russian veto was that the resolution did not ban all weapons in outer space and that Russia regarded the U.S.-Japan draft was nothing more than political posturing. “By choosing WMDs from all weapon types, Washington, Tokyo and their allies try to conceal their lack of interest in ensuring that no weapons of whatever kind be placed in space, which Russia and China have been insisting on since at least 2008,” Nebenzia said. “This is like trying to install a roof on a house before the walls are built and the overall design is endorsed. We are not opposed to discussing the roof, but only after first agreeing on all the other elements of this construct, which is exactly what Western delegations refuse to do.”

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