US to Directly Engage with Russia on 'Anti-Satellite' Capabilities Concerns

Written by Henrik Rothen

Feb.15 - 2024 9:09 PM CET

Photo: ArChe1993 / Shutterstock.com
Photo: ArChe1993 / Shutterstock.com
US to Directly Engage with Russia on 'Anti-Satellite' Capabilities Concerns.

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The Biden administration is closely monitoring developments as Russia explores "anti-satellite" capabilities, though officials assure the public there is no imminent threat to personal safety.

According to The HIll, John Kirby, advisor for national security communications at the White House, emphasized the nascent state of the Russian capabilities, stating, "It’s not an active capability and it has not yet been deployed." This clarification came in the wake of heightened concerns expressed by the House Intelligence Committee's Republican chair regarding the potential national security risks posed by Russia.

Describing Russia's efforts as "troubling," Kirby nonetheless reassured that the capability does not pose a direct threat to human safety. "We’re not talking about a weapon that can be used to attack human beings or cause physical destruction here on Earth," he remarked.

Intendes to Engage Directly with the Russians

The US government, according to Kirby, intends to "engage directly with the Russians about this" to discuss the matter further, though dialogue with Russian officials has not yet commenced. He acknowledged the potential for disruption, particularly concerning the services provided by satellites, including communications, command and control, and financial transactions.

Kirby revealed that Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, is slated to provide a briefing to Congress members on the intelligence related to the Russian threat. However, the administration has yet to decide on declassifying the intelligence, as suggested by Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio).

Kirby stressed the deliberate and strategic approach to public intelligence disclosures, vowing not to deviate from this process due to premature public revelations. He assured ongoing communication with Congress, international partners, and the public.

In light of Turner's announcement, the White House is evaluating whether the disclosure has compromised intelligence gathering methods or the efforts to engage with Russia on this issue. Kirby noted, "We’re asking ourselves that very question right now," highlighting the priority to safeguard intelligence sources and methods during their analysis with the intelligence community.

The administration remains cautious about the potential impact of Turner's actions on diplomatic engagement efforts with Russia, with Kirby stating, "We’ll have to see."

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