Russia Vetoes U.N. Resolution on Nuclear Weapons in Space

During a meeting of the UN Security Council, Russia used its veto power to block a draft resolution on the non-deployment of nuclear weapons in outer space proposed by the United States and Japan. 13 out of 15 members of the Security Council voted in support of the document. 

The resolution proposed by the United States and Japan contains eight paragraphs and is based on the 1967 Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space. One of the innovations of the project proposed by Washington and Tokyo is a provision banning the development of nuclear weapons designed to be put into orbit, the installation of such weapons on celestial bodies and their placement in outer space in any other way.

The Russian side blocked the adoption of the document and motivated the refusal for a number of reasons. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, first of all, the veto was the result of the fact that the amendments proposed by Russia during the discussion of the draft were ignored. The amendments envisioned the introduction of a number of provisions in the text of the resolution on the need to take measures to keep outer space free of all types of weapons, to ensure the guaranteed non-use of force or threat of force against space objects and with their use in space, from outer space or in relation to outer space, as well as the importance of the early development of an appropriate international legally binding instrument.

Also, according to Russia, the proposed project was developed without proper expert study and bypassing specialized platforms and formats of cooperation on arms control and disarmament issues. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the adoption of the resolution would lead to the creation of a negative precedent, "undermining the activities of not only the UN Security Council, but also relevant forums, including the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, the Conference on Disarmament, the UN Committee on Outer Space."

The Russian Foreign Ministry also reported that the key task in the field of ensuring security for Moscow remains the prevention of an arms race in outer space and ensuring conditions for the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes. In the message, the Russian side also confirmed its "strict commitment" to international legal obligations in the field of law, including the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, and also announced its intention to submit its own draft resolution to the UN Security Council, which "will take into account the results of the discussion of the US-Japanese document, as well as existing developments on this topic approved by the overwhelming majority of the UN Member States."

Source - Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation


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