Home Russia Russia Uses Veto To Prevent UNSC Draft Resolution On Weapons-Free Outer Space

Russia Uses Veto To Prevent UNSC Draft Resolution On Weapons-Free Outer Space

putin, vladimir putin, russia, space, nukes, china

Russia has used its veto to squash a draft resolution, which was aimed at keeping nuclear weapons out of space. The resolution, which was put forward by the US and Japan, saw a vote of 13 in favour to one against with one abstention (China). The resolution called on “all States, in particular those with major space capabilities, to contribute actively to the objective of the peaceful use of outer space and of the prevention of an arms race in outer space.”

Post the vote, US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said. “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?”

The resolution was first taken up in March, when the US and Japan stated that they believed Russia has acquired a “troubling” anti-satellite weapon capability. At the time, President Putin had stated, Russia had no interest in deploying weapons in space. He added that Russia had only developed capabilities to that of the US.

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Meanwhile, UNSC members rejected an amendment tabled by China and Russia, by a vote of seven in favour to seven against, with one abstention, failing to reach the required nine votes for an adoption. The amendment suggested an additional paragraph, which would have had the Council call on “all States, and above all those with major space capabilities, to take urgent measures to prevent for all time the placement of weapons in outer space and the threat or use of force in outer space, from space against Earth and from Earth against objects in outer space, and to seek through negotiations the early elaboration of appropriate reliably verifiable legally binding multilateral agreements.”

But this amendment failed to carry with seven for and seven against with one abstention. Post the vote, Russia’s UN Ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, asked the US’s ambassador to the UN. “We want a ban on the placement of weapons of any kind in outer space, not just WMDs [weapons of mass destruction]. But you don’t want that. And let me ask you that very same question. Why?”