11:37 GMT15 August 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Special Representative for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea said in a statement that he would discuss Russia's recent anti-satellite weapon test during the meeting with his Russian counterparts next week in Vienna.

    "This will be a major issue discussed next week in Vienna", Billingslea said via Twitter on Thursday. "The United States will deter, defend, defeat space threats".

    On Wednesday, the US Space Command said Russia had conducted a direct-ascent anti-satellite missile test. The Space Command noted that Russia’s missile system is capable of destroying satellites in low Earth orbit and the test followed Russia’s on-orbit tests the United States had drawn attention to in February.

    US officials have expressed concern over recent activity by the Russian Kosmos 2542 satellite, which they claim made a series of maneuvers in late January to get closer to the National Reconnaissance Office satellite USA 245.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry said the United States is accusing Russia of "chasing" a US reconnaissance satellite as an excuse to fuel an arms race in space that could lead to the destruction of the existing security balance.

    Tags:
    arms race, space, Russia, United States
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