Putin says Russia has no intention of putting nuclear weapons in space, denying U.S. claims

Putin's statement follows the White House confirmation last week that Russia has obtained a “troubling” anti-satellite weapon capability

Published - February 21, 2024 10:56 am IST - MOSCOW

Russian President Vladimir Putin. File.

Russian President Vladimir Putin. File. | Photo Credit: AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared on February 20 that Moscow has no intention of deploying nuclear weapons in space, claiming that the country has only developed space capabilities similar to those of the U.S.

Mr. Putin's statement follows the White House confirmation last week that Russia has obtained a “troubling” anti-satellite weapon capability, although such a weapon is not operational yet. White House national security spokesman John Kirby said it would violate the international Outer Space Treaty, but declined to comment on whether the weapon is nuclear-capable.

The treaty signed by more than 130 countries, including Russia, prohibits the deployment of “nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction” in orbit or the stationing of “weapons in outer space in any other manner.” The White House said it would look to engage the Russians directly on the concerns.

“Our position is quite clear and transparent: we have always been and remain categorically opposed to the deployment of nuclear weapons in space,” Putin said. “Just the opposite, we are urging everyone to adhere to all the agreements that exist in this sphere.”

Speaking during a meeting with his defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, Mr. Putin noted that Russia has only developed space capabilities that “other nations, including the U.S. have.”

"And they know it,” he added.

“We haven't deployed any nuclear weapons in space or any elements of them to use against satellites or to create fields where satellites can't work efficiently,” Mr. Shoigu said.

Mr. Shoigu alleged that the White House could have made the allegations of a new Russian space capability in order to force Congress to support aid for Ukraine and also encourage Moscow to reenter nuclear arms control talks that Russia has suspended amid the tensions with the U.S. over Ukraine.

Mr. Putin didn't rule out possible future contacts with the U.S., but reaffirmed his view that Washington's push for Russia's defeat in Ukraine makes them impossible for now.

“The U.S. and the West, for one thing, are calling for Russia's strategic defeat, while, on the other hand, they would like to have a dialogue on strategic stability, pretending that those things aren't connected," he said. “It won't work.”

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.