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EU Forced to Oppose Russian Resolution on Arms Ban in Space
by Staff Writers
Moscow, Russia (Sputnik) Jan 22, 2015

File image.

European Union countries were under pressure during the December voting on Russia's draft resolution "No first placement of weapons in outer space" (NFP), the head of the Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control of the Russian Foreign Ministry Mikhail Ulyanov said Tuesday.

The NFP resolution was adopted during the UN General Assembly's 69th session in December 2014 with 126 votes in favor, 4 votes against and 46 abstentions. Georgia, Israel, Ukraine and the United States are the four countries that opposed the draft resolution.

"It is of note that European Union countries abstained from voting. According to our information, the 'collective vote' was reached by arm-twisting. Because in fact, the overwhelming majority of Western European countries, as far as we know, understand the danger of placing weapons in space and were ready to oppose it," he said.

According to Ulyanov, back in 2005 Russia and the EU developed a joint roadmap that included recognizing the importance of preventing an arms race in outer space.

"If Western European countries have indeed abandoned this course, which I doubt, then of course we have to take this into account in the further work, including the EU's project on the Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities," he added.

The Russian resolution was introduced in October and approved by the United Nations' Disarmament Committee.

A number of countries contributed to the draft resolution: Brazil, Indonesia, China, Belarus, and Sri Lanka among them, with a further 34 countries as co-authors.

One of the key elements outlined in the NFP initiative is a call for the speedy launch of negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva aimed at drafting and adopting a legally binding international agreement to prevent the placement of weapons in outer space.

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