US rebuffs Russia's space proposal

Press TV
Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The White House has rejected a joint Sino-Russian proposal for an international treaty to ban the deployment of weapons in outer space.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov presented the draft treaty to the UN-sponsored annual Geneva Disarmament Conference on Tuesday.

"Without preventing an arms race in space, international security will be wanting," Lavrov told the conference.

However, being critical of the Russian-Chinese initiative, especially following China's anti-satellite missile tests last year, the US rejected the new proposal.

"The US opposes the development of new legal regimes or other restrictions that seek to prohibit or limit access to or use of space," said the White House spokeswoman Dana Perino on Tuesday.

"Any object orbiting or transiting through space can be a weapon if that object is intentionally placed onto a collision course with another space object. This makes treaty verification impossible," added the spokeswoman.

Perino said past US administrations had "recognized the impossibility of achieving a verifiable and equitable space arms control agreement."

The Bush administration has intensified work on a program called Space Situational Awareness (SSA) after China tested the anti-satellite missile.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said last Friday that a new arms race had begun, but that Russia would not allow itself to be drawn into it.

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