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Russian diplomat raises alarm over military use of commercial satellites

According to Vladimir Yermakov, Moscow considers such activities unacceptable

MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. Russia believes that the use of commercial satellites for combat operations is a growing threat, Director of the Foreign Ministry's Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Vladimir Yermakov told TASS.

In particular, Ukraine is actively using the Starlink network of non-combat satellites in military actions against Russia. In December 2023, Ukrainian Digital Transformation Minister Mikhail Fyodorov reported that the country had about 47,000 Starlink terminals. The communication services Starlink provides are used by Ukraine’s army to control drones.

"Russia sees it as a growing threat that commercial satellites and related ground infrastructure, declared as systems for civilian purposes, are used to support military combat operations and interfere in the domestic affairs of sovereign states," the diplomat said.

According to Yermakov, Moscow considers such activities unacceptable. "We also believe that as a result, the long-term sustainability of space activities and, as a consequence, numerous socio-economic processes that directly depend on the application of space technologies are exposed to unjustified risks. This factor affects the interests of the majority of UN member states, especially developing countries," he added.

The senior diplomat also emphasized that Russia consistently draws the attention of the world community to this problem at specialized international platforms, first of all at the UN. "As a practical contribution to its solution, the Russian Foreign Ministry, in coordination with interested organizations, has prepared a draft resolution for the 79th session of the UN General Assembly entitled ‘Space Science and Technology for Promoting Peace.’ The document has been submitted to the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space for consideration. Some 40 countries have already expressed their support. We will continue to promote this issue in all relevant international and regional platforms," Yermakov concluded.