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Russia stand for wide discussion of space exploration matters, says diplomat

He emphasized that Russia’s goal is to prevent the erosion of international law, in particular article 6 of the Outer Space Treaty, placing international responsibility for national activities in outer, including Moon and other celestial bodies, on states but not on legal entities or private individuals

MOSCOW, December 14. /TASS/. Russia calls for discussing issues of the exploration and use of outer space at the interstate level, with the United Nations playing the central role, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday.

"As an alternative to the narrow, nationals and multinational off-UN initiatives we promote a wide interstate dialogue involving maximal possible circle of participants, with the central role of the United Nations as a universal international platform. We understand that it is an objectively lengthy and uneasy process, especially on such a comprehensive matter," he said.

According to the Russian senior diplomat, within the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) Russia and a number of other countries are promoting the initiative that a legally binding instrument based on generally recognized principles and norms of international law codified in the Outer Space Treaty be adopted as an optimal format of regulation in the sphere of the exploration and use of space resources.

As a stage on this path, the COPUOS should agree basic principles and rule that are to be further approved by the United Nations General Assembly, analogously wit the 1963 UN General Assembly resolution titled the Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space.

"Such a course is not shared by the United States, its Anglo-Saxon allies, and Japan, which are seeking to use every possible pretext to ensure utter freedom of action for themselves," Ryabkov stressed.

He emphasized that Russia’s goal is to prevent the erosion of international law, in particular article 6 of the Outer Space Treaty, placing international responsibility for national activities in outer, including Moon and other celestial bodies, on states but not on legal entities or private individuals. "We are continuing our efforts in each and every sectoral multilateral format," he added.