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Russia Vetoes UN Resolution on the Prevention of Nuclear Arms Race in Space

Russia has vetoed a UN resolution sponsored by the United States and Japan calling on all nations to prevent a dangerous nuclear arms race in outer space. The voting took place at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on April 24.

Thirteen countries voted in favor of the resolution, Russia voted against it, and China abstained.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield commented on Russia’s veto after the vote: “Today’s veto begs the question: Why? Why, if you are following the rules, would you not support a resolution that reaffirms them? What could you possibly be hiding? It’s baffling. And it’s a shame.”

The UN resolution would have affirmed an obligation to comply with the 1967 Outer Space Treaty that bans the stationing of weapons of mass destruction in outer space and prohibits military activities on celestial bodies.

The diplomatic efforts to deter a nuclear arms race in outer space came following the US expression of concern regarding new intelligence on Russian military capabilities related to its efforts to deploy a nuclear anti-satellite system in space, which imposed a serious national security threat.

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