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MOSCOW, December 8. /TASS/. The United States has been trying to block efforts by the international community aimed at preventing an arms race in space, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. The 70th UN General Assembly session at its full-scale meeting on December 7 voted for Russia’s resolution, originally co-authored by Brazil and China, on no-first placement of weapons in outer space.
"Support for our document by an overwhelming majority of UN member-states (129 countries voted for it) confirmed the exceptional importance and timeliness of the initiative," the Foreign Ministry said. "It is noteworthy that the number of co-authors of our resolution at the current session grew to 40 countries."
"It is noteworthy that the sole country that remains opposed to the gist of our initiative is the United States, which has for many years and in utter isolation been trying to block consistent efforts by the international community for preventing an arms race in outer space," the Foreign Ministry said. "Of late, Georgia and Ukraine joined the US stance."
The Foreign Ministry pointed out that ever more questions had to be asked about "approaches made by the European Union member-states, which previously took a rather constructive attitude to the prevention of an arms race in space."
"It is regrettable that for a second year running they have succumbed to US pressures to refrain from voting on the resolution on the prevention of an arms race in space, thereby displaying their indifferent attitude to the possibility of the deployment of weapons in space," the Foreign Ministry said. "This is a reason enough to call in question their reliability as partners in the dialogue on the prevention of use of force in space."
"In our resolution, drafted to build up from and complement the resolution on the prevention of an arms race in outer space (presented annually by Egypt and Sri Lanka) proposes specific, systematic steps aimed at preserving outer space free from weapons of mass destruction and ensuring the use of outer space exclusively for peaceful purposes," the Foreign Ministry said.
One of the key elements of that resolution is a call for an early start of negotiations at the disarmament conference in Geneva for drafting a legally binding international ban on weapons in space, the Foreign Ministry said. Also, the resolution contains an appeal to all member-states for considering the possibility of taking a national pledge not to be the first to deploy weapons in space. Such a commitment has already been made by eleven countries: Argentina, Armenia, Belarus, Brazil, Venezuela, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Cuba, Tajikistan and Sri Lanka.
"The globalization of our initiative would serve as a political guarantee no weapons will ever appear in outer space and as a most important confidence-building and transparency-promoting measure in international space activity and a reliable tool to exert concerted action to maintain equitable, indivisible international security and strategic stability," the Foreign Ministry said. "Moscow is determined to go ahead with persistent efforts for the sake of globalizing the no-first-placement-of-weapons-in-outer- space initiative.