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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Slams U.S. Space Weapons

APPutin, left, and Singh pausing during a joint news conference on Thursday after a bilateral meeting in New Delhi.
NEW DELHI -- President Vladimir Putin on Thursday criticized U.S. plans for space-based weapons, saying it was the reason behind a recent Chinese anti-satellite weapons test.

Asked about the Chinese test at a news conference in New Delhi after a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Putin avoided directly criticizing China, saying only that Russia was against putting any weapons in space.

Instead, Putin chose to issue a warning to the United States on the dangers of the militarization of space.

"At the same time, I would like to note that China was not the first country to conduct such a test," Putin said.

The Jan. 11 test, first reported last week by the magazine Aviation Week, destroyed a defunct Chinese weather satellite by hitting it with a warhead deployed from a ballistic missile.

"The first such test was conducted back in the late 1980s and we also hear today about U.S. military circles considering plans of militarization of space. We must not let the genie out of the bottle," Putin said.

U.S. President George W. Bush signed an order in October tacitly asserting his country's right to space weapons and opposing the development of treaties or other measures restricting them.

Bush has also pushed an ambitious program of space-based missile defense and the Pentagon is currently working on missiles, ground lasers and other technology to shoot down satellites.

The test, confirmed by Beijing on Tuesday after nearly a two-week silence, has drawn criticism from the United States and Japan.