Samara 20 June 2018 (Tass)
Moscow is closely studying the likely effects Washington’s military buildup in outer space may entail, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has told the media about US President Donald Trump’s decision to create a sixth, space branch of the US armed forces.
“We’ve taken note of the US president’s instruction given to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to pull the military space force out of the Air Force and to convert it into a separate branch,” she said. “What makes this piece of news most alarming is the purpose of the instruction was described in very clear terms – dominance in space.”
Zakharova said this step merely confirms that Washington “is hatching plans for putting weapons in space with a view to the possibility of conducting combat operations there.”
“It’s not just guesses. It’s the understanding of the realities. Naturally, we keep the closest watch on Washington’s intentions and analyze the likely effects,” Zakharova said. “A military buildup in space, in particular, after the deployment of weapons there, would have destabilizing effects on strategic stability and international security.
“Russia takes a fundamentally different position and attaches priority to using and exploring space exclusively for peaceful purposes,” Zakharova said. “Over the past few years we put forward a number of initiatives for preventing a space arms race. We are determined to push ahead with pro-active work along these lines geared to obtaining specific results.”
Zakharova recalled that the United States in the past had made attempts at achieving military supremacy.
“For instance, take its wish to achieve monopoly on nuclear weapons,” she said. “At a certain point all this resulted in the toughest nuclear arms race and terrible escalation of tensions in the international scene. We are urging Washington to display common sense and avoid repeating mistakes made in the past.”
“As for those who wish to know more about Russia’s military-space force, I’d like to stress that its nature is purely defensive,” Zakharova said. “Our country is not interested in tackling any tasks in space with the use of attack weapons.”.