7 April 202020:59

Comment by the Information and Press Department on the US President’s executive order on encouraging international support for the recovery and use of space resources

550-07-04-2020

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We are closely watching statements and other actions by various states, including the US, that have recently demonstrated a much higher interest in the recovery,  exploration and use of the resources on the Moon and other celestial bodies.

Thus, we have noted the April 6 executive order by the US President.

First, the timing of this statement is indicative. It was released at a time when all of humanity is using all of its political, material and intellectual resources to resolve one of the most urgent problems today, the COVID-19 pandemic.

Second, it is unclear why the US administration wants to assume the leading role in creating a global agenda on this sensitive international issue. We believe that all states are equal in exploring and using outer space for peaceful purposes.

We will consider the current trend in the policies that certain states have adopted (outside the UN framework) on the exploration and use of resources in outer space. A continuation of this approach is fraught with serious risks for international cooperation and understanding, including in outer space.

We would like to emphasise that universally recognised principles and standards of international space law are the immutable foundation of this discussion. They are codified, in part, in the Outer Space Treaty of January 27, 1967, which holds that outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, cannot be subject to national appropriation in any way.

We are convinced that clarity which meets the interests of the entire international community and which is necessary for implementing major programmes and projects on the exploration and use of outer space can only be created by the purposeful and consistent efforts of the states, which are responsible for the activities of their business entities.

We believe there is an urgent need for the international community to make a collective effort to prevent outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, from becoming an arena for international discord and conflict.

We reaffirm our interest and willingness to hold a practical and open discussion on this issue with due observance of the norms and principles of international law, including the UN and its Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. We also confirm our commitment to large-scale international cooperation on both the scientific and judicial aspects of the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes.

This is how we will cooperate with the United States, based on our experience of joint space exploration over many decades.

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