Quasi-civilian satellites, which the West uses to support the operations of the Ukrainian military in the conflict, can become a legitimate target for Russia, Vladimir Yermakov, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s department for non-proliferation and arms control, told RIA Novosti in an interview.
“Western countries are actively using the potential of civil space infrastructure, primarily the constellation of low-orbit satellites, in order to support the operations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. With its help, specific purely combat tasks are carried out to open the places of deployment, routes of movement and actions of Russian troops, control of attack unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as targeted guidance from space of precision-guided munitions, “ Yermakov said.
He noted that such a provocative use of “civilian satellites at least raises questions in the context of the Outer Space Treaty, which implies its exclusively peaceful use, and requires the most serious condemnation by the world community.”
“We confirm that such a quasi-civilian infrastructure, if used in military operations against Russia, can quite logically become a legitimate target for retaliatory defeat,” the diplomat said.
He stressed that, taking into account the global coverage of the Earth’s territory by civilian spacecraft, “the Pentagon is testing the concept of a promising command and control system anywhere in the world, while the vast majority of states do not have effective countermeasures.”
“We are in favor of preventing the use of civilian commercial satellites for combat missions. We call on all countries interested in the proper use of space technologies to make joint efforts in the interests of developing near-Earth space for purely peaceful purposes,” Ermakov said.
He added that it is possible to ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of outer space activities “only through the development of legally binding norms of international law that would be comprehensive and aimed at preventing an arms race in outer space.”