EU, NATO condemn Russia’s anti-satellite missile test

The European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have denounced a recent anti-satellite missile test by Russia.

In separate statements, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and the North Atlantic Council, the decision-making body of NATO ambassadors, said the test generated a large amount of orbital debris that posed a long-lasting risk to crewed and uncrewed space activities, including to the safety of astronauts and cosmonauts on the International Space Station.

Borrell described it as “a clear act of irresponsible behavior in outer space,” while the North Atlantic Council said that “Russia’s actions demonstrate a pattern of irresponsible behavior and endanger the security, economic, scientific and commercial interests of all nations and actors seeking to explore and use outer space for peaceful purposes.”

The statements were issued after Russia on Monday conducted a kinetic direct-ascent anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon test against its own satellite, COSMOS 1408.

Russia’s Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu confirmed the successful test of the anti-satellite system on Wednesday. “We’ve really tested a successful promising system. It hit the old satellite,” he said.

Shoigu added that the “resulting fragments do not pose any threat to space activities.”