Russia working to anti-satellite weapons

Gen. Valentin Popovkin, the deputy defense minister of Russia, stated on Thursday that Russia is working to develop anti-satellite weapons to cope with the technologies developed by other nations. The Russian deputy defense minister also said that Russia will pace up modernization of its nuclear forces.

Popovkin made the intentions clear that Russia is going to pursue its plans to strengthen its military, despite the fact that the country is going through serious financial crisis. He disclosed that Russia will get enough new missiles that will be deployed near Poland if the United States does not halt its European missile defense plans.

Popovkin clarified that Russia does continue to oppose a space arms race but it will respond to moves made by other countries. He said, "We can't sit back and quietly watch others doing that; such work is being conducted in Russia."

Meanwhile, a retired Russian general said that the satellite collision that occurred 500 miles above the Earth last month could be the US plot. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Leonid Shershnev, the former chief of Russia's military space intelligence, said that the satellite collision could be the result of a test of U. S. space-weapon technology.

Last month, an inoperative Russian satellite collided with an American telecommunications satellite, which was one of Iridium company's 66 satellites. According to Shershnev, the American satellite involved in the collision was one of the two satellites used in the NASA-Pentagon's 2007 Orbital Express experiment, in which one satellite hooked up with the other to refuel the latter. The program was ended nearly two years ago, but, Shershnev said, the program could be still operative that caused the last month's satellite collision.

"The U. S. may now be capable of manipulating hostile satellites, including their destruction, with a single command from a ground control center," Shershnev said to the Kremlin-run RIA Novosti news agency.