Putin Issues Orders for Nuclear Space Program | Space

Vladimir Putin Speaks Moscow.jpg

Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued orders to Kremlin-controlled agencies regarding the development of a nuclear energy program for space.

The Russian state media outlet Tass on Thursday reported Putin gave instructions to the government space corporation Roscosmos and Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation to allocate funds for the creation of space nuclear energy by June 15.

Putin’s announcement comes after a February warning from the White House that Russia has the capability for an anti-satellite space-based weapon while stressing that it is not operational.

Though a White House spokesperson didn’t confirm at the time if there is any nuclear component to the anti-satellite weapon, ABC News reported U.S. intelligence found Russia was looking to put a nuclear weapon into space for use against satellites. A U.S. official also told The Washington Post that Moscow has been experimenting with how to use nuclear explosions or other methods to take out satellites.

In this pool photograph distributed by the Russian state news agency Sputnik, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech in Moscow on April 4, 2024. A Thursday report said Putin recently instructed agencies to allocate…Photo by PAVEL BEDNYAKOV/POOL/AFP via GETTY IMAGES.

The new instructions from the Russian president on space nuclear energy did not contain any mentions of nuclear weapons or anti-satellite devices. However, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said in February that the deployment of nuclear weapons or any weapons of mass destruction in space would violate a decades-old treaty.

The treaty Kirby referred to was an agreement signed by the U.S. and the former Soviet Union in…

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