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Russia denies US, UK accusations of testing space weapon

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A file photo of the Russian Proton-M carrier rocket with the Kosmos military-purpose satellite being transported to the launch pad.

Russia has rejected as “propaganda” American and British allegations that it has tested an anti-satellite weapon in space.

“We call on our US and British colleagues to show professionalism and instead of some propagandistic information attacks, sit down for talks,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

On Thursday, the United States Space Command had claimed that Russia had tested an anti-satellite weapon in space on July 15. It said that Russian satellite Cosmos 2543 injected the weapon into orbit.

The US Space Command also said that the threat from the alleged weapon against US systems was “real, serious and increasing.”

The head of Britain’s Space Directorate, Air Vice-Marshal Harvey Smyth, also said in a tweet that Russia “tested one of its satellites by launching a projectile with the characteristics of a weapon.” He said, “Actions of this kind threaten the peaceful use of space.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry stressed Moscow’s “commitment to obligations on the non-discriminatory use and study of space with peaceful aims.”

It said the tests conducted by the country’s Defense Ministry on July 15 “did not create a threat for other space equipment and most importantly, did not breach any norms or principles of international law.”

The Russian ministry said that the US and the UK were planning to develop anti-satellite weaponry. The two countries, it said, have “programs on the possible use of ‘inspector satellites’ and ‘repair satellites’ as counter-satellite weapons.”

The US and Britain “naturally keep silent about their own efforts,” it added.

Earlier on Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reiterated that Russia supported “full demilitarization of space and not basing any type of weapons in space.”

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