US Asks India and China to Dissuade Russia from Using Nuclear Weapons in Space

Written by Henrik Rothen

Feb.18 - 2024 8:01 PM CET

US Asks India and China to Dissuade Russia from Using Nuclear Weapons in Space.

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised concerns about the potential threat of Russia placing nuclear weapons in orbit during discussions with his Chinese and Indian counterparts at the Munich Security Conference, The New York Times reports.

He called on Beijing and Delhi to influence Moscow and warned that any nuclear explosion in space would destroy not only American satellites but also Chinese and Indian ones.

Furthermore, American officials and external analysts believe that an explosion would disrupt global communication systems, affecting everything from emergency services to mobile phones and systems controlling generators and pumps. Debris from the explosion would scatter across low Earth orbit, making navigation difficult for various satellites. Blinken will continue to address this issue in additional meetings at the Munich Security Conference.

Some U.S. intelligence officials opposed disclosing known details about Russia's program because the specifics remain classified, sources told NYT. However, others recommended revealing enough information to convince China and India of the seriousness of the threat.

U.S. intelligence learned about the development of a new type of weapon after several secret Russian satellite launches in early 2022. The White House described the new Russian developments as anti-satellite technology without disclosing details. NYT sources insist that this weapon does not pose a direct threat to people.

"We're not talking about a weapon that could be used to attack people or cause physical destruction here on Earth," Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby told reporters. In February, he announced that American diplomats had begun negotiations with Russia and other countries regarding this weapon.