Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answer to media question about space activities of Russia. Moscow, November 16, 2021

Question: Last night, the United States accused Russia of testing weapons in outer space. As is often the case, this is being done without providing any facts or evidence. What is your comment?

Sergey Lavrov: The Defence Ministry will comment on this. I can only say one thing: to claim that the Russian Federation is creating risks for the peaceful use of space is, to say the least, hypocrisy. As you rightly said, the claim was not based on facts.

Let me give you some other facts. The United States is urging us (as they put it) to develop universal rules for space activities, but for many years now they have been ignoring Russia and China’s initiative to draft a treaty to prevent an arms race in outer space. They just ignore it and insist on developing some kind of rules and universal norms of behaviour. At the same time, the United States itself is pursuing an arms race in the most active manner. In 2020, they created a space command and adopted a space strategy. One of its main goals is to create a comprehensive military advantage in outer space. To implement this strategy (the facts were the same even before it was approved), the Pentagon, without notifying anyone, is testing offensive and combat weapons in space, including the launch of missile defence systems into orbit. President Vladimir Putin repeatedly commented on this threat, stressing that a completely different situation in the security sphere would take shape, when a particular country had offensive weapons constantly hovering over its territory. Instead of unfounded accusations,Russia would prefer to see the United States sit down at the negotiating table and discuss its concerns about a treaty proposed by Russia and China to prevent this arms race, which the United States cannot accept. It would be interesting for us to hear a reasoned position rather than excuses. We are ready to hear it.