how Russia tries to persuade France to abandon the militarization of space – Teller Report Teller Report

Moscow expects Paris to support Russian initiatives to prevent the deployment of weapons in space. This was stated by the Russian Ambassador to the Republic Alexei Meshkov. According to him, Russia consistently calls on its foreign partners to support its commitments. But in recent years, France has refused to join such projects and has developed weapons that could potentially be used in extraterrestrial space, experts recalled. Analysts doubt that the official Paris will compromise on this issue and sacrifice its political ambitions.

Russia expects France to support initiatives aimed at preventing the deployment of weapons in outer space. This was stated by the Russian Ambassador to the Republic Alexei Meshkov.

According to him, Moscow and Paris “generally share the need to ensure the security of space activities and their implementation in accordance with the standards of international law.”

“This concerns the prevention of an arms race in outer space and the need to prevent it from turning into a new arena of confrontation,” the news agency TASS quoted the diplomat as saying.

Alexei Meshkov also recalled that Russia consistently calls on its foreign partners, including France, to support its initiatives.

“Among them is the launch of negotiations on a treaty to prevent the placement of weapons in outer space. This also applies to commitments not to use force or threats of violence against space objects, to agree on measures to build confidence in space. It is also “It is important to make global political commitments not to be the first to place weapons in space. We count on the support of these initiatives from Paris,” said the diplomat.

space defense

Experts note that France has the status of a space power, as it has the ability to independently launch various carriers into orbit, and such large airlines as Airbus and Arianespace operate on its territory. In addition, the Paris controls the Kourou launch site in French Guiana, which is closer to the equator than any other space power, making it the best place to launch satellites into geostationary orbit.

At the same time, in 2017, France, together with the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel and Ukraine, voted against the draft UN resolution on the prevention of arms race in outer space.

In September 2018, the French Minister of Defense Florence Parly announced that the country’s lagging behind in space technology was not allowed.

  • French Defense Minister Florence Parly and Emmanuel Macron

  • © REUTERS / Gonzalo Fuentes

According to her, other space powers are militarizing space and putting potentially dangerous objects into orbit, leaving no doubt about their aggressive intentions. In this context, Parley pointed out Russia in particular and accused it without evidence of having tried to capture data from a French-Italian satellite. At the same time, as early as 2019, the television company BFM reported that France itself developed an anti-satellite laser.

In July of that year, President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron announced his intention to create a new space command in the French Air Force.

“We will have a deeper knowledge of the situation in space, we will better protect our satellites, even in an active way. And to put this doctrine into practice, to ensure the development and expansion of our space capacity, a great space command will to be created in the air force in September “, Macron said then.

Shortly afterwards, Florence Parly presented a new National Defense Space Strategy. The head of the Defense Department of the Fifth Republic also said that the country will organize active defense in space and is considering the possibility of influencing enemy satellites. For these purposes, according to her, the already mentioned powerful lasers will be used.

In addition, Parly announced that France would increase funding for military space programs as part of the budget planning for 2019-2025: in addition to the initially announced investment of € 3.6 billion, the country’s authorities decided to allocate an additional € 700 million for the development of this area.

The French Air Force’s Space Command began operations in September 2019. According to Parley, the number of his personnel was 220 people.

containment mechanism

In a comment on the new French space defense strategy, the Russian Foreign Ministry noted in August 2019 that it raises “serious issues” for Moscow.

“Even at the first reading of the strategy, serious questions arise regarding some of its provisions, which the Russian side intends to address to the French partners. As a preliminary plan, we consider it necessary to note the following. France became the second state (after At the same time, in response to “unfriendly” or “hostile” actions against French space objects, countermeasures are not excluded, including, as we understand it, military ones, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. A statement.

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The Foreign Ministry also emphasized that against this background, “the significant change” in France’s view of Russian proposals to prevent an arms race in space is “very significant”. Russian diplomats recalled that Paris 2018 refused to support the UN General Assembly resolution calling for dialogue on the issue of non-deployment of weapons in space, and refused to join Russia’s international initiative on non-first deployment of weapons in space. (NWOC).

In addition, France’s representatives at the International Conference on Disarmament in Geneva rejected the Russian-Chinese draft treaty banning the withdrawal of weapons into outer space, as recalled by the Foreign Ministry.

Earlier, as emphasized in Russia’s diplomatic department, on the contrary, constructive cooperation and mutual understanding were observed between Moscow and Paris on this issue.

Recall that in recent years Russia has repeatedly warned Western countries to turn outer space into a militarized zone and a theater for military operations. In December 2019, the UN General Assembly adopted by majority vote three resolutions proposed by Russia on disarmament in outer space.

At a thematic conference in February 2020, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow was calling on Western countries to develop measures that would prevent such a scenario.

The Russian diplomat then noted that although “the plans of the United States, France and the North Atlantic Alliance as a whole to launch weapons into space are becoming more and more realistic, it is not too late to develop generally acceptable measures that can prevent a military confrontation in Outer Space.”

Military expert Yuri Knutov noted in an interview with RT that Moscow, in an attempt to gain the support of Paris, continues its course to defend the concept of the impermissibility of withdrawing weapons to extraterrestrial space.

“Russia understands that if France, a nuclear power, supports its initiative, there will be a real prospect of convincing the global public and thus keeping outer space peaceful. Moscow is aware of the need to create a mechanism that would prevent its deployment. “This is why Russia is trying to find a compromise, to negotiate with France,” said Knutov.

He also reminded that France now has optical and electronic reconnaissance satellites, but that it does not yet have combat satellites.

“The country took this course because of the ambitions of Macron, who wants France to be the first power in the EU, to have its own space forces, to place combat satellites in space,” the military expert explained.

In turn, the editor-in-chief of the magazine National Defense, Igor Korotchenkov, also commented positively on Russia’s initiative in a comment on RT.

At the same time, he expressed the view that Western space policy in practice will be built, focusing on US plans in this area. Despite the mechanism proposed by Russia and China in the UN Security Council to prevent the deployment of weapons in space, the United States and its Western allies blocked this initiative, he recalled.

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