Konstantin Vorontsov, deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department of Nonproliferation and Arms Control, told a UN General Assembly meeting that U.S. commercial satellites could be considered legitimate targets for Russian strikes if they are used in the Ukraine conflict, TASS reported on 27 April.
The United States and its allies are trying to use space to strengthen Western dominance, Konstantin Vorontsov, deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s non-proliferation and arms control department, told the United Nations.
Vorontsov said the use of satellites by Western countries to help Ukraine is ” an extremely dangerous trend ” .
” Quasi-civilian basic satellites may be legitimate targets for Russian retaliatory strikes, ” Vorontsov told the U.N. committee. ” The West’s use of such satellites to support Ukraine is provocative. Such use of civilian satellites is problematic under the Outer Space Treaty, which stipulates that outer space can only be used peacefully, and this action by the West must be strongly condemned by the international community. ”
Vorontsov did not mention any specific satellite company, but Elon Musk said earlier this month that his SpaceX company would continue to fund its Starlink Internet service in Ukraine.
SpaceX’s Starlink Internet service was used extensively during the Russo-Ukrainian war, and the satellites played a key role for Ukraine in areas such as communications in the face of Russian attacks on its infrastructure.
The White House responded to Russian claims that commercial satellites were legitimate targets, saying the U.S. would respond accordingly after any such attack.
White House Press Secretary Karina Jean-Pierre told reporters, ” If there is a Russian attack on a commercial satellite, we will use every means to prosecute and hold Russia accountable for that attack. ”