Russia – Destructive strike against one of its own satellites (16 November 2021)


The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Minister for the Armed Forces firmly condemn the destructive strike by Russia against one of its own satellites. This is a destabilizing, irresponsible action which could cause very long-term consequences for the space environment and all space players. In particular, anti-satellite strikes knowingly create debris which poses a risk to the safety of space activities and to free access to space for everyone. In this particular case, we note the very significant volume of debris produced by the strike.

As the ministers reminded their Russian counterparts at their meeting on 12 November, France has long promoted the peaceful, responsible use of outer space. It recalls that a dialogue at the United Nations will be launched in the coming months, at the request of a very large majority of States, about responsible behaviours in space, in order to reduce space threats and avoid the risk of misunderstandings and escalation. With this in mind, France and the European Union have submitted to the United Nations Secretary-General concrete proposals to establish norms for responsible behaviours in space, including the avoidance of intentional creation of debris. France calls on Russia to participate in these discussions for the implementation of norms in space.