EU, NATO condemn Russian anti-satellite missile test

Organizations call on Moscow to refrain from similar ‘irresponsible’ acts that undermine space security.

BRUSSELS (AA) – The EU and NATO on Friday strongly condemned a recent anti-satellite missile test by Russian, calling on Moscow to refrain from similar dangerous and irresponsible acts in the future.

In two separate statements issued by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and the decision-making body of NATO ambassadors, the North Atlantic Council, the two organizations condemned Russia’s “irresponsible behavior” in conducting the test.

The NATO and the EU both said the test resulted in orbital debris that endangers space activities, including the astronauts at the International Space Station.

“Russia’s actions demonstrate a pattern of irresponsible behavior and endanger the security, economic, scientific, and commercial interests of all nations and actors seeking to explore and use outer space for peaceful purposes,” NATO said, pointing out that through this act, Moscow contradicted its own claims on opposing the “weaponization” of space.

The EU top diplomat also underlined that “with this test, the Russian Federation demonstrated its capability to destroy satellites in space,” which is a threatening behavior that “undermines stability in outer space.”

Both bodies called on Russia to contribute to developing international norms on responsible behavior in outer space, and to refrain from similar tests in the future.

On Monday, Russia conducted a kinetic direct-ascent anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon test against its own satellite, COSMOS 1408.

According to the US State Department, the test resulted in 1,500 pieces of trackable orbital debris and will likely generate hundreds of thousands of pieces of smaller orbital debris.

The Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged on Tuesday that they had carried out the test.

Their statement rejected that the test had put the International Space Station at risk and accused the US of hypocrisy for demanding the respect of space norms from Russia.


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