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World

US claims Russia likely launched space weapon into orbit last week

IANS | May 22, 2024 12:40 PM

WASHINGTON: The US has claimed that Russia launched what is likely a space weapon capable of attacking other satellites in low Earth orbit, US Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder announced.

Ryder added that the launch took place on May 16, and the Russian satellite is now in the same orbit as a US government satellite.

When asked whether the Russian satellite threatened the US satellite, Ryder said: "Well, it's a space defence weapon in the same orbit as a US government satellite."

American UN representative Robert Wood had previously expressed views similar to Ryder's.

The Pentagon stated that it is not the first time Russia has launched such space weapons, referring to 2019 and 2022.

On Monday, a UN resolution tabled by Russia against an arms race in space failed in the UN Security Council.

The draft resolution received seven votes in favour, while seven countries, including the US, voted against it.

US representative Robert Wood accused Moscow of using manipulative tactics after Russia vetoed a US resolution against nuclear weapons in space last month.

In February, reports in the US warned about Russia's nuclear ambitions in space, stating that the nuclear potential of weapons directed against satellites could pose a threat to national and international security.

The US government responded to the reports, accusing Russia of developing military capabilities for use against satellites, with President Joe Biden assuring that there is no nuclear danger facing Americans or people anywhere in the world.

Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to the reports and said that Russia is against the deployment of nuclear weapons in space.

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