Wednesday, May 22, 2024

US says Russia likely launched space weapon

The US says Russia launched a satellite last week which it believes may be capable of attacking other such probes.

"Russia launched a satellite into low Earth orbit that we assess is likely a counter space weapon," said Pentagon spokesman Brig Gen Pat Ryder on Tuesday evening.

It was on the "same orbit" as a US government satellite, he said, adding that Washington would continue to monitor the situation and had to be ready to protect its interests.

Russia has not publicly commented on the issue.

 In February, the US government, including President Joe Biden, leveled unsubstantiated accusations against Russia, alleging it considered deploying nuclear weapons in space. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters dismissed the accusations as another White House ploy. Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu that Moscow "has always been categorically against and is now against the deployment of nuclear weapons in space."

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in late February that it is unadvisable from all perspectives to deploy nuclear weapons in outer space. The official said existing delivery systems for such weapons are quite sufficient.

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