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RUSSIA ALL OUT AGAINST PLACING ARMAMENTS IN SPACE - FOREIGN MINISTRY

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MOSCOW, May 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is active in preventing the placement of weapons in outer space, official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Yakovenko said. He was commenting on the publication in The Financial Times.

It says that Yermakov, the senior counselor of the Russian embassy in Washington, has allegedly said that Russia would consider the use-of-force possibility if the United States had put weapons in outer space.

"Essentially, our position is that at different international forums Russia actively pursues a policy line in favor of preventing the placement of armaments in space. It is our consistent and principled position," stressed the official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Alexander Yakovenko explained that the Russian diplomat has only said what he did at the conference in Washington: "Our policy is not aimed at creating situations that could lead to a confrontation. If we cannot find understanding with the administration of the United States and find ourselves in a situation when we have to react, we'll certainly do it."

All the rest beyond the framework of this utterance is "the daily's interpretation," Alexander Yakovenko said.

In the opinion of the first deputy of the Russian defense minister and chief of the general staff of the Russian armed forces, Yuri Baluevski, the United States President George Bush will not allow the militarization of space.

"Today's generally recognized international norms for representatives of all the leading powers prevent the militarization of space," Baluevski told RIA Novosti in an interview on Wednesday, May 18.

He said that this issue has been discussed many times in the United Nations and not a single state, including the United States, has so far officially declared violation of the moratorium on the militarization of space."

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