MOSCOW – Russia dismissed U.S. and British claims that it tested an anti-satellite weapon in space and declared Friday that the accusations served to justify Washington's own plans to deploy weapons in orbit.
U.S. and British officials claimed Thursday that the July 15 test of an anti-satellite weapon signaled a continuing Russian effort to develop technologies that could threaten space assets of the United States and its allies.
The Russian Foreign Ministry rejected the allegations, saying in a statement that the July 15 experiment didn't threaten any other space objects and complied with the international law.
It described the claims as part of an “information campaign to discredit Russia's space activities and its peaceful initiatives aimed at preventing an arms race in space.”
Asked to comment on the U.S. and British accusations, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that “Russia has always been and remains a country committed to complete demilitarization of space and non-deployment of any types of weapons in space.”
Russia's Defense Ministry previously stated that the July 15 event involved “a small space vehicle” that “inspected one of the national satellites from a close distance using special equipment.”
The ministry added that the inspection “provided valuable information about the object that was inspected, which was transmitted to the ground-based control facilities.”
But U.S. military officials said the Russian activity was inconsistent with the stated mission of an inspector satellite.