06:12 GMT +321 November 2019
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    US Pushes NATO States to Renege on Outer Space Agreements – Moscow

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United States is exerting pressure on the NATO countries so that they roll back previously reached agreements on outer space, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control said.

    "The United States is exerting tremendous pressure on its NATO partners and other so-called allies who are circumventing previously reached agreements, including with us," Vladimir Ermakov told at the first UN conference on space law and policy on Tuesday.

    The diplomat noted that Russia was discussing with the United States the issue of security of space operations and believed that Washington was aware of the seriousness of the problem.

    "We have been engaged in a dialogue with the United States on the security of space operations for many decades, and we believe that our US partners understand the gravity of the problems that are facing the entire international community," Ermakov said.

    Last week, the Pentagon released new report where it identified Russia and China as key threats to US space capabilities. Prior to that, Moscow and Beijing have both declared their commitment to the use of space for peaceful purposes and are members of the United Nation’s Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

    According to earlier reports citing the Missile Defense Agency’s director, Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, the Pentagon and Congress were pushing for a possible deployment of missile defense interceptors in space.

    READ MORE: 'No Matter What': US Poised to Deploy Space-Based Weapons by 2020 — Reports

    At the end of June, the US House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2019 fiscal year that stipulates "the development and deployment of persistent space-based sensor architecture" by the end of 2022 to ensure the effectiveness of the country's missile defenses.

    As a response to the move, the Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the US military space program noting that it may have "the most negative impact on the state of international security."


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