Russia's Explosive Plan To Deploy Nuclear Weapons In Space Draws US Concerns

Republican Congressman Michael R Turner urged President Joe Biden to make the intelligence report on Russia's plans public.

Russia's Explosive Plan To Deploy Nuclear Weapons In Space Draws US Concerns

The US said Russian weapons can destroy civilian communication.

Russia wants to put a nuclear weapon in space, the United States has said, describing the move as a "serious national security threat". According to New York Times (NYT), this was part of the intelligence that was made public by the US officials before the Congress and its European allies. The space-based nuclear weapon could be used to threaten the US' extensive satellite network, the outlet further quoted the intelligence officials as saying. The officials also said that at the moment, the US doesn't have the ability to counter such a weapon.

This Russian weapon could destroy civilian communication and surveillance from space, the NYT report said, with the officials questioning if Moscow is abandoning the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which bans all orbital nuclear weapons.

Though Russia doesn't appear to be close to deploying the weapon, US intelligence officials want President Joe Biden to declassify the entire intelligence report on the military operation.

"I am requesting that President Biden declassify all information relating to this threat so that Congress, the administration and our allies can openly discuss the actions necessary to respond to this threat," said Representative Michael R Turner, Republican of Ohio and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

The committee led by Mr Turner also held a voting on Monday to make the information available to all members of Congress. However, it is not clear what the intelligence is.

The Telegraph quoted White House sources as saying that Mr Biden has been tracking the threat, described as a "grave" but not "immediate", for some weeks. So, Mr Turner's decision to share a part of the information with others in the Congress stunned Washington.

"We scheduled a briefing for the House members of the Gang of Eight tomorrow. That's been on the books. So I am a bit surprised that Congressman Turner came out publicly today in advance of a meeting on the books for me to go sit with him alongside our intelligence and defence professionals tomorrow," Jake Sullivan, US national security advisor, told reporters on Wednesday.

Mr Sullivan went on to stress that the Biden administration had "gone further and in more creative, more strategic ways, dealt with the declassification of intelligence in the national interest of the United States than any administration in history".