MOSCOW, June 19. /TASS/. Chairman of the Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev sees opportunities for interaction between Russia and France on preventing the militarization of space. He stated that during a meeting of the committee and the French Senate Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces Committee, where a second joint report on Russian-French relations was discussed.
"The issue of the militarization of space is extremely important. If we don’t pool our efforts now, at some point an arms race could erupt in space which would be equally difficult to stop as it is currently impossible to stop an arms race on Earth. <...> It seems to me that here Russia and France may have an additional field for interaction. In my opinion, our interests do not contradict each other," Kosachev said.
According to the Russian side, the initiative for the militarization of space "still comes from the US," the senator pointed out. He reiterated that back in 2002, the Pentagon announced a space military program and in 2010, America’s national space policy emerged along with corresponding directives from the Department of Defense.
"Unfortunately, according to our data, both the UK and France, as well as some other NATO members are cooperating with the US to implement this program. I am not saying that you are placing some sort of weapons in space but in any case there is no willingness to discuss any legally binding documents on the prevention of the militarization of space at the level of the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly as is constantly suggested both by Russia and China," Kosachev specified.
In his turn, Christian Cambon, who chairs the French Senate commission, emphasized that "France will always be with Russia on the issue of demilitarization of space." "We are in favor of space remaining peaceful. We are confident that it is utterly unacceptable to place military weapons in space," he said.
Cambon stressed that the French space program is "absolutely peaceful in nature and is not in any way directed at any hostile action towards Russia, or other countries." "That is why it seems to me that it is very important to confirm our mutual desire to develop outer space for peaceful purposes only. France is also ready to hold international dialogue on a space doctrine. I think that as two large space nations, Russia and France can achieve a lot here," Cambon insisted.