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US consistently refused to discuss space weaponization - Lavrov

February 24, 13:55 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"When the US announced plans to deploy weapons in outer space, it became clear why it had refused to support the draft treaty presented by Russia and China, Russian Foreign Minister said

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MOSCOW, February 24. /TASS/. The US has consistently refused to discuss weapons deployment in space, as well as other strategic stability issues, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Vietnam’s national broadcaster Vietnam Television (VTV), China’s CCTV and Phoenix TV.

"We have on many occasions - at the 2017 Hamburg meeting between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump and their Helsinki summit in July 2018, my conversations with Michael Pompeo and US National Security Advisor John Bolton’s visits to Russia - suggested launching structured dialogue on strategic stability that would cover intermediate and shorter-range missiles, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and outer space, which is considered to be a new area where the Americans want to deploy weapons, though it would be regrettable," Lavrov pointed out.

However, in his words, the Russian-Chinese draft treaty on the non-deployment of weapons in outer space has been on a back burner at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament. "It is a solid and well-conceived document that has many supporters, including European countries, but the US doesn’t want to be bound by it," Lavrov noted. "When the US announced plans to deploy weapons in outer space, it became clear why it had refused to support the draft treaty presented by Russia and China," he said.

"In any case, we called for dialogue but got the answer that the time has not yet come for it," the Russian foreign minister concluded.

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