Russia blocks UN resolution on space nuclear arms ban

Jake Sullivan
Jake Sullivan

Russia's veto on a UN Security Council resolution banning nuclear weapons in space is seen by the White House as a clear indication of Russian intentions regarding such deployments, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on April 24.

The resolution, co-proposed by the United States and Japan, sought to reinforce the commitments of the Outer Space Treaty, which prohibits placing nuclear weapons in orbit around Earth.

Read also: Russia spins narrative about its plan to send nukes to space

"Today, Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have reaffirmed the fundamental obligation of States Parties to the Outer Space Treaty not to place nuclear weapons in orbit around the Earth," Sullivan stated on April 24.

He added that the resolution also aimed to urge member states not to develop nuclear weapons specifically designed for orbital deployment.

Sullivan emphasized the potential dangers of deploying nuclear weapons in space, noting that such actions could threaten essential global services including communication, scientific research, meteorology, agriculture, commerce, and national security, all dependent on satellite technology.

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"As we have noted previously, the United States assesses that Russia is developing a new satellite carrying a nuclear device," Sullivan mentioned. He highlighted a contradiction in statements from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has publicly denied any intention to deploy nuclear weapons in space, questioning why Russia would then veto such a resolution.

U.S. congress members were warned of a “serious national security threat,” potentially linked to Russia, by U.S. House Intelligence Committee chair Mike Turner (R-Ohio), CNN reported on Feb. 14.

The “serious national security threat” relates to Russia’s desire to send nuclear weapons into space, ABC News reported.

The U.S. Congress was informed about Russia's efforts to develop anti-satellite weapons, said Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, on Feb. 16.

Despite these concerns, Russia continues to deny any such plans.

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