America accused Russia on Thursday of test-firing an anti-satellite weapon in area, warning that the risk in opposition to Washington’s programs was “actual, severe and growing”.
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US Area Command “has proof” that Moscow “carried out a non-destructive check of a space-based anti-satellite weapon” on 15 July, it mentioned in a press release.
“Final week’s check is one other instance that the threats to US and Allied area programs are actual, severe and growing,” the assertion continued.
“Clearly that is unacceptable,” tweeted US nuclear disarmament negotiator Marshall Billingslea, including that it could be a “main concern” mentioned subsequent week in Vienna, the place he’s in talks on a successor to the New START treaty.
The treaty caps the nuclear warheads of the US and Russia – the 2 Chilly Battle-era superpowers.
On Thursday, US President Donald Trump instructed his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that he hopes to keep away from an “costly” arms race with Russia and China.
The system used to conduct final week’s check is identical one which Area Command raised considerations about earlier this 12 months, when it manoeuvred close to a US authorities satellite tv for pc, mentioned Basic Jay Raymond, head of US Area Command.
“That is additional proof of Russia’s persevering with efforts to develop and check space-based programs, and in keeping with the Kremlin’s printed navy doctrine to make use of weapons that maintain US and allied area property in danger,” Raymond mentioned in a press release.
It’s the newest instance of Russian satellites behaving in a way “inconsistent with their acknowledged mission”, the Area Command assertion added.
“This occasion highlights Russia’s hypocritical advocacy of outer area arms management,” mentioned Christopher Ford, a US assistant secretary of state for arms management.
The assertion additionally got here as China launched a rover to Mars on Thursday, a journey coinciding with an identical US mission because the powers take their rivalry into deep area.