Russia Threatens with ‘Tough Response’ to Trump’s Space Force

Russia is warning the United States there will be a “tough response” if it violates an international treaty barring nuclear weapons in outer space, after President Donald Trump ordered the establishment of a “Space Force” as a sixth branch of the US military, Air Force Times reports.

Trump on Monday ordered the Pentagon to establish the space force, which he said would create more jobs and be great for the country’s “psyche.” Some members of Congress have already expressed their opposition to Trump’s space force, and astronaut Mark Kelly called it a “dumb idea,” Business Insider writes.

Victor Bondarev, head of the Russian Parliament’s Upper House Committee on Defense and Security, referring to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty on Tuesday said that “if the United States withdraws from the 1967 treaty banning nuclear weapons in outer space, then, of course, not only ours, but also other states, will follow with a tough response aimed at ensuring world security.”

According to the State Department, the treaty “contains an undertaking not to place in orbit around the Earth, install on the moon or any other celestial body, or otherwise station in outer space, nuclear or any other weapons of mass destruction.”

Bondarev also noted that the militarization of outer space is a “path to disaster,” adding that he hopes “the American political elite still have the remnants of reason and common sense.”

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also expressed concern regarding Trump’s announcement of the creation of a US space force.

“A military buildup in space, in particular, after the deployment of weapons there, would have destabilizing effects on strategic stability and international security,” Zakharova said. She also defended the fact that Russia already has a space force, contending it’s a “purely defensive” entity.

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