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Kommersant: NATO gears up to counter Russian and Chinese ‘space threats’

The defense chiefs of 30 NATO member-states are due to deliberate over key security threats on Thursday and Friday, which customarily point to Russia. The North Atlantic Alliance now plans to counter Moscow in outer space. For this goal, a new space center will be created at the alliance’s Air Command at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany. NATO will have enough money to open the new facility.

For the first time in history, ten member-states increased their defense spending to 2% of their GDP. So, the NATO defense budget in 2020 exceeded $1 trln, Kommersant business daily writes.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday that competition in space is rising every year and claimed that Russia and China are developing anti-satellite systems, which could “blind, disable or shoot down satellites and create dangerous debris in orbit.”

According to Dmitry Stefanovich, research fellow at the Center for International Security at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, the focus on “space threats coming from Russia and China” was expected. “This has become the universal rationale for any activity in the field of military development of NATO countries,” he told the newspaper.

The commentator believes that at the first stage a more advanced system for space monitoring will be created, “which is not bad for mankind.” “Moreover, in the event of some normalization of NATO-Russia relations, a kind of a “single window” for cooperation could emerge, for example, with our system for space control.”

Earlier, Russia put forward initiatives on creating a single catalogue of space objects, he recalled.

On the other hand, according to German media reports, the new center could further coordinate “space defense.” “This is just a step away from a ‘space attack’,” the expert warned.

So far, space has not become a battleground, but space infrastructure is a key element of ensuring combat actions on the planet’s surface.

Russia and China have accused the US and NATO of seeking to turn outer space into a new battleground. At the UN, Moscow and Beijing are promoting the idea of signing a legally binding agreement on banning space militarization. However, the countries fail to agree on universal rules of behavior in this field.

Source: Kommersant via TASS