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Russia vetoes UN Security Council draft resolution on weapons of mass destruction in outer space

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-25 04:23
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UNITED NATIONS -- Russia on Wednesday vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution on the deployment of weapons of mass destruction in outer space.

The draft resolution, tabled by the United States and Japan, won the support of 13 of the 15 members of the Security Council. Russia, which has veto power, voted against it. China abstained.

Before the vote, the Security Council rejected an amendment to the draft resolution proposed by Russia and China to include a ban on the deployment of all kinds of weapons in outer space.

Russia's permanent representative to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, accused the United States and Japan of staging "a dirty spectacle" at the Security Council by tabling the draft resolution.

"At first glance, it looks harmless, it looks positive, because officially it is devoted to a topic that is of great importance to the international community -- that's the non-placement of WMDs in outer space.

Yet behind this fig leave, there is a cunning plan that was concocted by our Western colleagues," he told the council before the vote.

Nebenzia explained that the ban on the placement of WMDs in outer space has already been enshrined in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. The United States and Japan had the hidden motives of cherry-picking WMDs out of all other kinds of weapons in outer space.

By doing so, the United States and Japan could camouflage their lack of interest in outer space free from any weapons, he said.

Nebenzia read out the amendment jointly proposed by Russia and China, which calls on all states, particularly those with major space capabilities, to take urgent measures to prevent the placement of weapons in outer space and the threat or use of force in outer space; and to seek through negotiations the early elaboration of appropriate, reliably verifiable, legally binding multilateral agreements.

The Russian ambassador stressed that the draft amendment does not delete from the draft resolution the ban on the placement of WMDs in outer space. It simply adds the provision about the inadmissibility of weapons of any kind being placed in outer space.

The text of the proposed amendment is identical to an operative paragraph of a General Assembly resolution adopted in December 2023.

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