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White House says ‘no evidence’ Russia planning to use emerging satellite weapon

President Biden said Friday that there is “no evidence” that Russia has decided to use its emerging satellite weapon, just days after worries about a “serious national security threat” circulated in Washington.

The White House confirmed that U.S. intelligence officials have information that indicates Russia has gained a satellite weapon capability but it is not yet operational.

In remarks to reporters Friday about the deal of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s death, Biden said “there is no evidence that they have made a decision to go forward with doing anything in space either.”

“So, what we found out: There was a capacity to launch a system into space that could theoretically do something that was damaging. Hadn’t happened yet,” Biden said, adding that he hopes it won’t happen.

The news of Russia’s capability broke earlier this week after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-Ohio) released a cryptic call for Biden to declassify information about the security threat and allow for public discussion about U.S. response.

Turner’s message caused fear, but leaders like ranking member on the panel Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) and Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said people should not panic and there is no need for public alarm.

White House national security communications adviser John Kirby said this week that the Biden administration was monitoring the situation and said while Russia’s “anti-satellite” capability is “troubling,” there is no immediate threat to safety.

He said the White House plans to “engage directly” with the Russians about the issue, but as of Thursday they had not made contact with officials.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is in Germany for the Munich Security Conference, emphasized to other world leaders that “the pursuit of this capability should be a matter of concern,” a person traveling with him told The Associated Press.

The news comes as Russia continues its war against Ukraine and the battle nears the two-year anniversary.  

Source: The Hill

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