Russian FM Lavrov against arms race in space, wants efforts united
07/03/2009 16:55 GENEVA, March 7 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's foreign minister said Saturday that an arms race in outer space is inadmissible and called on other world powers to unite efforts in countering missile threats.
"Prevention of an arms race in space will contribute to ensuring the predictability of the strategic situation and preserving the orbital property," Sergei Lavrov told a disarmament conference in Geneva, adding that all states using space objects for civilian purposes should be interested in it.
Lavrov said that in February last year Russia and China submitted a draft international treaty on prevention of outer space weaponization.
"We plan, jointly with China, to submit to your consideration soon a document generalizing the results of discussions that have taken place at the conference and containing reaction to comments on the draft treaty. We hope the document will become a good help for future talks," the Russian minister said.
Lavrov also voiced a proposal to unite the efforts of all countries who believe potential missile threats should be countered.
"In the spirit of strategic openness, we offer a constructive alternative to unilateral plans in this very important sphere - to unite the efforts of all states interested in countering potential missile threats," he said.
The U.S. has often cited Iran's controversial nuclear program as one of the reasons behind its plans to deploy a missile base in Poland and radar in the Czech Republic. The missile shield has been strongly opposed by Russia, which views it as a threat to its national security. The dispute has strained relations between the former Cold War rivals, already tense over a host of other differences.
The United States and other Western nations suspect Tehran of secretly seeking nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is purely aimed at generating electricity. However, unlike his predecessor, George W. Bush, Obama has stated a preference for diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute.
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