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Russia & Turkey may cooperate on joint space efforts

The supermoon is seen behind the Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft set on the launch pad at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on November 14, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV

Russia and Turkey may begin cooperation in the space sector by elaborating fair mechanisms for joint use of outer space, Russian Ambassador to Turkey Alexei Yerkhov said in an article published in Monday’s issue of the Daily Sabah newspaper. The Russian diplomat pointed to the fact that some states “practically point out as a fait accompli that outer space must become an arena of confrontation and even combat. They act on the presumption that states have a right to use space not only for defensive goals but attack as well. The “hawks” would like to plan a wide range of space operations in case of conflict; create and update rules enabling their use of force and design proactive military systems,” he noted.

“The second camp of “optimists,” which includes Russia, would prefer to see space as a “peaceful harbor” for scientific research and future progress. They believe that an arms race in space could have a disastrous impact on international security and stability, thus try to create a legally binding international framework to prevent it.” He continued.

“I feel it is crucial that the Turkish public is made fully aware of all these nuances. Turkey has now launched its space program, opened a national space center (welcome to the club, guys!) and no doubt will be one day a space state contributing to the world’s efforts with its own thorough and proactive programs in space research. So I believe Russia and Turkey can cooperate in this area, starting with discussions on relative U.N. resolutions aimed at producing fair-regulating mechanisms for joint use of outer space,” Yerkhov stressed.

According to the Russian ambassador, the work done today “will allow people to one day explore space together, using joint resources and strength. So, when we finally discover a “Solaris”, we hope very much that it does not host a military base but a scientific station in orbit to explore the galaxy. Let us create a bright future for our posterity,” he emphasized.

Russia has been condemning the United States’ plans to deploy weapons in outer space. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the Disarmament Conference on February 25 that NATO’s plans to deploy weapons in outer space were becoming more real, and called for preventing confrontation in outer space until it is too late by means of elaborating common rules of behavior. The Russian top diplomat stressed that the Russian-Chinese draft treaty on non-placement of weapons in outer space, non-use of force or a threat of force against space objects was the only constructive initiative to prevent an arms race.

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