Публикатор

10.10.0222:55

ON RUSSIAN INITIATIVES AIMED AT PREVENTING DEPLOYMENT OF WEAPONS IN OUTER SPACE

 

Unofficial translation

 

 

On Russian Initiatives Aimed At

Preventing Deployment of Weapons

in Outer Space

 

1. Addressing the United Nations Millennium Summit in New-York on September 6, 2000, Vladimir V. Putin, President of the Russian Federation, proposed to convene in Moscow in spring 2001, under the auspices of the United Nations, an international conference on the prevention of the militarization of outer space to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the first manned flight to outer space.

Such a conference was held on April 11-14, 2001. It was focused on a dual objective – to discuss both issues of preventing deployment of weapons in outer space and future peaceful use of outer space. This objective was reflected in the motto of the forum – "Outer Space without Weapons as an Arena of Peaceful Cooperation in the 21st Century". About 1300 participants from 105 countries attended the conference.

2. On September 24, 2001, at the 56th session of the UN General Assembly Igor S. Ivanov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, invited the world community to start working out a comprehensive agreement on the non-deployment of weapons in outer space and on the non-use or threat of force against space objects. In particular, the agreement could contain the following key elements:

- outer space should be used in conformity with international law in the interests of maintaining peace and security;

- an obligation not to place in the orbit around the Earth any objects carrying any kinds of weapons, not to install such weapons on celestial bodies, or station such weapons in outer space in any other manner;

- an obligation not to use or threaten to use force against space objects;

- a provision establishing verification mechanism overseeing the implementation of the agreement on the basis of confidence-building measures and transparency in outer-space matters.

Under the Russian proposal as the first practical step in this direction a moratorium could be declared on the deployment of weapons in outer space pending a relevant international agreement. Russia would be willing to make such a commitment immediately provided that the other leading space powers join this moratorium.

3. Russian initiatives put forward at the 56th session of the UN General Assembly in 2001 were reflected in Russian-Chinese document "Possible Elements for a Future International Legal Agreement on the Prevention of the Deployment of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force Against Outer Space Objects", submitted to the Conference on Disarmament session in Geneva on June 27, 2002. The paper was also co-sponsored by Belarus, Indonesia, Syria, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

The Russian side believes that such possible agreement would facilitate the carrying out of effective peaceful outer space activities and the development of multilateral cooperation in this area in accordance with international law and would strengthen legal norms for the protection of space objects already in space and prospective space objects on the basis of the UN Charter-enshrined principle of the non-use or threat of force in the international relations.

The submitted document is not a completely finished text of a future treaty. It covers only its main elements, and the Russian side is ready to continue work on their further improvement in cooperation with all interested states.

4. In October 2002 answering the question from Russian media about preventing deployment of weapons in outer space Igor S. Ivanov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, stated the readiness of the Russian side to agree to a new openness and confidence-building measure in the space domain: to provide information beforehand about the upcoming launches of space objects, their purpose and basic parameters.