Arms control in outer space: The Russian angle, and a possible way forward [Text]


Arbatov Alexey
Arms control in outer space: The Russian angle, and a possible way forward [Text] / A. Arbatov // Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 2019. Vol. 75. Issue 4. P. 151-161. DOI: 10.1080/00963402.2019.1628475.

Publication Type:
Articles in Journals

ISSN 0096-3402

DOI: 10.1080/00963402.2019.1628475

Against the background of new US-Russia and US-China political confrontation and the comprehensive crisis surrounding nuclear arms control treaties, there may be little immediate hope for successful talks on the non-weaponization of space. Even so, if and when political preconditions change and serious arms control negotiations resume, the non-militarization of outer space will inevitably return to the disarmament agenda. The United States and Russia, as a minimum, have an obvious common security interest in space – limiting as much as possible the dedicated anti-satellite (ASAT) systems that threaten the satellites that are designed to warn each nation of a ballistic missile attack by any state. A focus on the verifiable ban on the testing of such anti-satellite systems would give the United States and Russia a practical starting point for further negotiations on the non-militarization of space.

This article has been supported by a grant of the Russian Science Foundation (project 18-18-00463 “Prospects of arms control under the effect of new military-political and technological factors”).


Keywords: satellites | anti-satellite weapons | ballistic missile defense | nuclear arms | launch-on-warning | strategic stability | non-weaponization of outer space |

Russian Science Citation Index



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