Video On Demand

The Nuclear Option: Deciphering Russia's New Space Threat

May 3, 2024 • 2:00 – 2:45 pm EDT

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In a statement on April 24, 2024 National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said, "Russia is developing a new satellite carrying a nuclear device." The capability would violate the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, although it is not deployed and not an immediate threat to anyone's safety. Such a weapon would likely pose a serious challenge to space security and safety, indiscriminately affecting large numbers of satellites and jeopardizing the usability of space for people around the world. 

Sullivan's remarks followed a United Nations Security Council vote on a resolution, introduced jointly by the United States and Japan, on Preventing Nuclear Weapons in Space. The resolution called on "UN Member States not to develop nuclear weapons or any other kinds of WMDs specifically designed to be placed in orbit around the Earth." On April 24, 2024, thirteen nations voted in favor, while Russia vetoed the resolution. 

Please join the CSIS Aerospace Security Project on Friday, May 3, 2024, at 2:00pm ET for a fireside chat with The Honorable Mallory Stewart, Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Deterrence, and Stability, moderated by Clayton Swope, Deputy Director of the CSIS Aerospace Security Project. In this discussion, Assistant Secretary Stewart will discuss her assessment of the reported Russian anti-satellite capability, what threats it poses to the space environment, and why the UN resolution is an important step in enhancing strategic stability in orbit.

Dr. John J. Hamre, President and CEO of CSIS, will be providing opening remarks.

Please note Assistant Secretary Stewart will be taking audience questions. Register to attend the event either in person or online, and submit questions through the event page. 

This event is made possible by general support to CSIS.

Contact Person

Clayton Swope
Deputy Director, Aerospace Security Project and Senior Fellow, International Security Program
John J. Hamre
CSIS President and CEO, and Langone Chair in American Leadership