Today, Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution, proposed jointly by the United States and Japan, 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. The resolution also would have called on all Member States not to develop nuclear weapons specifically designed to be placed in orbit. Placement by a State Party of a nuclear weapon in orbit would not only violate the Outer Space Treaty, but would threaten the vital communications, scientific, meteorological, agricultural, commercial, and national security services that any and all satellites provide to societies around the globe. As we have noted previously, the United States assesses that Russia is developing a new satellite carrying a nuclear device. We have heard President Putin say publicly that Russia has no intention of deploying nuclear weapons in space. If that were the case, Russia would not have vetoed this resolution.


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