State Dept. alarmed about Russian satellite’s ‘abnormal behavior’
U.S. officials are raising concerns about the “very abnormal behavior” of a Russian satellite, suggesting that it could pose a threat to American satellites.
ABC News reported that Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance Yleem D.S. Poblete said that the satellite is showing behavior “inconsistent with anything seen before from” similar satellites launched by Russia.
“We don’t know for certain what it is, and there is no way to verify it,” Poblete said during the Conference on Disarmament in Switzerland, suggesting that it could be a weapon, according to the network.
The official was speaking of the U.S.’s “serious concerns” about Russian efforts to place weapons in space, such anti-satellite devices that could target U.S. satellites, ABC News said.
Russia has denied that the satellite is a weapon. One senior Russian diplomat told Reuters that the claims are “the same unfounded, slanderous accusations based on suspicions, on suppositions and so on.”
President Trump earlier this year ordered the creation of the “Space Force,” a sixth branch of the military dedicated to space. Creating such a branch requires congressional approval.
Vice President Mike Pence and Defense Secretary James Mattis last week discussed plans for creating the Space Force, including the establishment a space combatant command.