MOSCOW, February 16 (Itar-Tass) – Friday’s meteor incident in the Urals highlighted the real scale of threats from space and raised the question of international efforts in warding off such risks, Russian Academy of Sciences member, Moscow State University world politics department dean Andrei Kokoshin told Itar-Tass in an interview.
“We already have people who have been harmed and injured as a result of the meteorite’s fall,” he said. “Should a larger celestial body hits the Earth, the effects will be far more devastating. Particularly so, if that happens in a large city. And in certain cases, as many scientists have been warning, the fall of an asteroid would spell the end of humanity.”
This is the reason why time is ripe, Kokoshin said, for not only scientists to address this issue, but also for politicians and statesmen to join in this work. There should be concerted efforts by the international community on the basis of decisions by the leading countries of the world having the appropriate scientific knowledge and technologies. Such technologies do exist in Russia, the United States, China, the European Union and, to a certain extent, in India.”
Kokoshin, who for a certain period of time held the position of Russia’s Security Council, believes this theme is worth consideration by Russia and other states in the bilateral and multi-lateral format.
“It is high time to create a common international center for monitoring and responding to natural threats from space,” Kokoshin said. “The UN may create a special committee within its structure to coordinate efforts by UN SC member-states and other UN countries in that field.”