In Depth

Russia accuses US of Moon ‘invasion’

Moscow strikes back after being excluded from Washington’s lunar mining pact plan

moon_landing_live.jpg

A US “invasion” of the Moon to launch Donald Trump’s proposed lunar mining project could be “another Afghanistan or Iraq”, Russia has warned.

The Times reports that officials in Washington are working on a “legal blueprint for mining on the Moon that could involve Canada, Japan and some European countries, as well as the United Arab Emirates” - but not Russia.

Nasa is pumping tens of billions of dollars into the so-called Artemis project, which aims to establish the “sustainable exploration” of the Moon by 2028.

But Dmitry Rogozin, head of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency, has tweeted that “the principle of the invasion is the same, be it the Moon or Iraq”.

“Create a coalition of the willing and then, without UN or even Nato, move forward to the goal. But this will only result in a new Afghanistan or Iraq,” he wrote. 

Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, added: “It continues the line that the US pursues on Earth - he who is not with us, is against us.”

Meanwhile, Roscosmos deputy head Sergei Savelyev has compared the lunar mining mission to colonialism, reports The Moscow Times.

“There have already been examples in history when one country decided to start seizing territories in its own interests and everyone remembers how that turned out,” Savelyev said.

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Deutsche Welle reports that efforts to establish international jurisdiction over celestial bodies, such as the 1979 Moon Treaty, have “failed to muster support from space-faring countries” including both the US and Russia. 

The 1979 Treaty proposes setting up an “international regime” or “framework of laws” that apply to the Moon and to other celestial bodies within the Solar System.

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