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Russian President Vladimir Putin attends annual news conference in Moscow on 14 Dec, 2023 Alamy Stock Photo
Space Nukes

Russian efforts over nuclear weapons in space draws concerns, US media reports

The issue is due to be discussed in a closed-doors meeting between congressional leaders and the White House today.

THE UNITED STATES is facing a “serious national security threat” due to Russian attempts to build a space-based nuclear weapon.

The New York Times quoted unidentified officials saying that Russia was developing a nuclear, space-based anti-satellite weapon.

While the US would not have the ability to counter such a weapon, the officials quoted in The New York Times noted the threat is not considered urgent or imminent.

While the officials did not describe the new intelligence in detail, they said it has caused concern about whether Russia was preparing to abandon the Outer Space Treaty of 1967.

This treaty bans nuclear weapons in space.

The intelligence was made public via a cryptic announcement by US House Intelligence Committee chairman Michael Turner.

He issued a statement referring to a “serious national security threat”.

Turner said in a letter to lawmakers the panel had “identified an urgent matter with regard to a destabilizing foreign military capability that should be known by all congressional policymakers.”

He called on president Joe Biden to “declassify all information relating to this threat so that Congress, the administration and our allies can openly discuss the actions necessary to respond”.

It will now be discussed in a closed-doors meeting between congressional leaders and the White House today.

The Republican U.S. House of Representatives speaker, Mike Johnson, urged caution and told reporters at the Capitol that “there is no need for public alarm.”

Meanwhile, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan signalled frustration that Turner had gone public ahead of a briefing already planned for today.

The drama played out with Biden and the Republican-led House at an impasse over a White House request for $60 billion (€55.8b) in military aid to help Ukraine’s defence against the Russian invasion entering its third year.

-With additional reporting from - © AFP 2024 

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