On Monday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov urged the international community to begin discussions on the construction of a worldwide system prohibiting the deployment of weapons in space, according to a report by Sputnik.
Ryabkov spoke at the international Gagarin conference, which was held in Moscow to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the first human spaceflight. He said that on a global basis, the most urgent challenge is to avoid an arms race in space, according to Sputnik. People demand that negotiations on the creation of an international, legally binding instrument prohibiting the deployment of any type of weapon in space, as well as the use or threat of force against space objects, begin immediately.
Space arms control is governed by the Russia-proposed No First Placement of Weapons in Outer Space programme, which requires participant countries to refrain from unilaterally deploying any type of weapon in space. According to the diplomat, the number of countries that have joined the programme has surpassed 30 and is still growing.
According to Sputnik, Ryabkov also referred to the modified Russian-Chinese draught treaty on barring the deployment of weapons in space, which the two countries submitted to the Geneva Conference on Disarmament last year. Alexander Deineko, deputy director of the Russian foreign ministry’s Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control, delivered the deputy foreign minister’s address.
Moscow welcomes productive and balanced space cooperation, according to the senior official. He said that in important areas of the unifying world agenda, Russia has consistently supported the preservation of constructive dialogue in the field of space, according to Russian News Agency, Tass. Russia is pursuing a line at the UN Committee on space to ensure that all countries have equal access to space and that it is preserved for future generations.
Weapons used in space combat are known as space weapons. They include anti-satellite weapons, that can strike space systems in orbit, weapons that can attack targets on Earth from space, and weapons that can damage missiles travelling through space. During the Cold War, such weapons were primarily developed by the contending superpowers, and several are still in development today.