WASHINGTON, D.C./MOSCOW (SF) – Russia has successfully tested projectile-firing satellite weapons in orbit two times, the United States claims.
“Now, there is a lot for our teams to discuss on this space dialogue, of course. While our efforts are aimed at finding constructive paths forward for space security, we will certainly emphasize our great concern with ongoing Russian – as well as Chinese – efforts to weaponize the space domain. To be clear, Moscow and Beijing have already turned space into a warfighting domain, as I’m sure you’ve been following, especially in light of the U.S. Space Command’s announcement yesterday about Russia having conducted another on-orbit weapons test on the 15th of July.
So even while both Russia and China engage in diplomatic gamesmanship over what they claim is “space arms control,” in other words, both are fielding new anti-satellite weapons in order to hold U.S. and allied space services at risk. As SPACECOM’s most recent announcement makes doubly clear, Russia, in what I would say is an amazingly hypocritical repudiation of its own diplomacy against the deployment of “weapons in outer space,” Russia has already tested projectile-firing satellite weapons in orbit not just once, but now twice.
The U.S. considers unfettered access to and freedom to operate in space to be a vital interest, and we are committed to defending such space access and deterring any harmful interference with or attacks upon critical components of our space architecture,” Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Non-Proliferation Christopher Ford said during the press briefing on July 24.
Since then, the sides have achieved little real progress in the ongoing negotiations on the demilitarization of space. This is mainly due to the different goals of the sides. The United States seeks to limit the development of anti-satellite weapons by China and Russia, but is not going to halt the development and deployment of its own military space projects.