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Russia against militarizing outer space - defense minister

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Russia's defense minister said again Tuesday that the country is vehemently opposed to the militarization of outer space.
MOSCOW, February 6 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's defense minister said again Tuesday that the country is vehemently opposed to the militarization of outer space.

Sergei Ivanov, who is also a deputy prime minister, reiterated Moscow's wholly negative reaction to a successful missile test launch carried out by Beijing last month, which destroyed an aging Chinese weather satellite.

Earlier, Ivanov said China was not the first nation to have used missiles to shoot down targets in outer space.

"It is not China that opened up Pandora's box," he said.

He admitted that the United States and Russia have also used outer space for military purposes, but said a clear distinction should be made between doing so for self-defense and to intimidate other nations.

"The use of outer space for security and defense purposes is one thing, and the placement of weapons there is quite another," he said. "The latter is absolutely unacceptable in our view, as it makes the global security situation unpredictable."

China's January 11 ballistic missile launch, revealed only two weeks later, caused an international uproar and raised concerns about the emerging world power's military ambitions.

The Chinese leadership, however, has denied seeking an arms race in space.

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