Kremlin dismisses U.S. warning about Russian nuclear capability in space

Russia dismissed US warning about the new Russian nuclear capability in space, calling it a "malicious fabrication" and a White House trick

MOSCOW -The Kremlin dismissed on Thursday a warning by the United States about a new Russian nuclear capability in space, calling it a “malicious fabrication” and a trick by the White House aimed at getting U.S. lawmakers to approve more money to counter Russia.

The United States has told Congress and allies in Europe about new intelligence related to Russian nuclear capabilities that could pose an international threat, a source briefed on the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

The new capabilities, related to Russian attempts to develop a space-based weapon, do not pose an urgent threat to the United States, the source said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he would not comment on the substance of the reports until the details were unveiled by the White House. But he said Washington’s warning was clearly an attempt to get Congress to approve more money.

“It is obvious that the White House is trying, by hook or by crook, to encourage Congress to vote on a bill to allocate money, this is obvious,” he told reporters.

“We’ll see what tricks the White House will use.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, Moscow’s point man on arms control, accused the United States of “malicious fabrication”, TASS reported.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has triggered the biggest confrontation between the West and Russia since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Both Moscow and Washington have warned of the risk of a conflict between NATO and Russia.

Russia and the United States are by the biggest nuclear powers, together holding about 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons. They also both have advanced military satellites orbiting the Earth.


The New York Times and ABC News reported earlier that the new U.S. intelligence was related to Russian attempts to develop a space-based, anti-satellite nuclear weapon. Sources said the U.S. warning was related to Russian nuclear capabilities in space and to satellites.

It was not immediately clear why Russia would need a nuclear weapon to destroy a satellite.

Threatening satellites could cause all sorts of mischief – undermining communications, surveillance, intelligence and command and control around the world, including in the nuclear sphere.

The New York Times said the United States does not have the capability to counter such a weapon.

The United States sees Russia and China as its biggest nation-state competitors and says both are developing a range of new weapons systems, including nuclear, cyber and space capabilities.

Russia says the post-Cold War dominance of the United States is crumbling and that Washington has for years sown chaos across the planet while ignoring the interests of other powers. Moscow says the United States too is developing a host of new weapons.

In the early years of the Cold War, after Russia leaped ahead in the space race and both sides developed intercontinental ballistic missiles, the West proposed a treaty to outlaw nuclear weapons in space.

The eventual result was the 1967 Outer Space Treaty which bans putting any weapons of mass destruction into orbit or into outer space.

In recent years, disagreements between Moscow and Washington have eroded the framework of arms control treaties that sought to reduce the risk of nuclear war between them.

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