The US is drafting a proposal for the UNSC to forbid Nuclear Weapons in Space

According to persons familiar with the situation, the US is drafting a resolution for the UN Security Council that would forbid the use of nuclear weapons in space in an effort to deter Russia from pursuing plans to launch a warhead into orbit.

The persons, who wished to remain anonymous while speaking about private discussions, said that the resolution would be tabled this month when Japan is the Security Council president. It would probably restate what nations are required to do by the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which forbids the use of nuclear weapons in orbit. 

According to the persons, the manuscript is still in its early stages and hasn't been distributed extensively. On March 18, the Security Council is scheduled to convene to deliberate on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. 

“Parties to the Outer Space Treaty have obligations under international law not to place nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction into orbit,” Nathan Evans, spokesman for the US mission to the UN, said in a statement. “We are consulting with members of the UN Security Council on how we can best reinforce this important principle.”

Following a US lawmaker's warning of a serious but undefined Russian threat, which President Joe Biden later claimed was a plot to construct an anti-satellite space weapon, the Biden administration launched an offensive against the country. According to Biden, the weapon poses no threat to US life. According to people with knowledge of the situation, the US warned partners that Russia might launch a dummy warhead or nuclear weapon into space as early as this year.

Given that Moscow has the authority to veto resolutions as a permanent member of the council, any attempt to specifically criticize Russia would almost probably be unsuccessful. Consensus in the Security Council has become unusual due tocouncil member, any attempt to specifically criticize Russia would  animosity between China and Russia and the US and its allies on the one hand and Russia and the US on the other since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

However, a moderately worded resolution on the larger principles at issue might win over Russia and the support of other nations the US is trying to reach out to for assistance, such as China, which is also a permanent member of the council, and India. The people believe that both have a greater impact on Russia.

The Russian capability would be intended to destroy satellites with a nuclear warhead, but according to US sources, Russia has no intention of doing so any time soon. The Kremlin has refuted any such plans. Nevertheless, an unintentional explosion has the potential to harm or destroy satellites and disrupt global communications.

It is unclear if a resolution would also try to impede the US, Russia, and China's alleged escalating race to weaponize space, including the capacity to target one another's satellites. This is according to security experts.

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