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ASAT: Russia welcomes New Delhi's efforts to prevent arms race in outer space 

Anti-Sat Weapon: Mission Shakti. (Representative Image) Photograph:( IANS )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 29, 2019, 11.28 AM (IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

Reacting to India's mission Shakti or Anti-Satellite Missile Test, Russia on Friday said that it welcomed New Delhi's "reassurance" on making the outer space free from arms race. 

In a statement, Russian foreign ministry highlighted the "non-directedness of this test against any specific country declared by the Indian leadership" as well as the "reassurance of the continuity of New Delhi foreign policy to prevent the deployment of weapons in outer space and thereby the development of an arms race in it."

It has been a long-standing policy of the Indian government not to weaponise the Outer Space and that space must be used only for peaceful purposes.

Russia is the fourth country to make a public statement on India's ASAT test after Pakistan, China and the US. The statement by the US was positive while China's was rather guarded. Pakistan, on expected lines, criticised the New Delhi's move.

But Russia did state that action by New Delhi was "largely the result of the substantially degraded situation in the field of arms control" for which Moscow blamed Washington. 

The statement said, actions by US such as "unilateral and unlimited development" of the US global anti-missile defence systems and continuing with its policy of "weaponisation of outer space" is making other countries to take actions "in the interests of strengthening their national security."

US President Donald Trump has proposed a space force in March of 2018 which will be the 6th branch of US armed forces. It will be separate but equal to the US Air Force.

Moscow also suggested its "Indian partners" to "actively join" efforts of the international community to present an arms race in outer space. Russia and China have come up with a draft treaty to prevent the weaponization of outer space.

Story highlights

It has been a long-standing policy of the Indian government not to weaponise the Outer Space and that space must be used only for peaceful purposes