Russia has consistently opposed the idea of space militarization, President Vladimir Putin said. Yet, the actions of the US and its allies force Moscow to counterbalance this growing threat, he added.
“Russia has always opposed and continues to oppose the militarization of space,” the president told a government meeting on military policies. “Yet, developments demand that we pay increased attention to strengthening our orbital group as well as our rocket and space industries,” he added.
The Russian so-called orbital group is a constellation of more than 150 satellites, two thirds of which have military applications. Most of them are parts of military satellite communication systems, but Russia also has satellites monitoring launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles as well as even short-range tactical missiles. This warning system was “significantly enhanced” over the recent years and tested successfully the large-scale military drills in October, the president said.
Putin expressed his concern over the US treatment of space as yet another potential theater of war last month when he called NATO's buildup near the Russian borders and “attempts to militarize space” as ones of the most significant security concerns for Moscow.
His words, meanwhile, came as the Alliance finally made space its official war domain. During a summit in London on the 70th anniversary of NATO on Wednesday, its members declared space “the fifth operational domain and committed to ensuring the security of telecommunications infrastructure, including 5G.”
Nothing has been publicly said about any concrete steps or decisions made in this field, though.
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