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U.S. seeks to build world pressure on Russia over space nuclear weapon

WASHINGTON - American officials are trying to increase international pressure on Russia not to deploy an antisatellite nuclear weapon in space, and have obtained information that undermines Moscow's explanation that the device it is developing is for peaceful scientific purposes, a senior State Department official said Friday.

Concern over the Russian development of a new generation of space nuclear weapons has been growing in Washington, especially since Moscow's veto last month of a U.N. measure aimed at keeping space free of such weapons. Some Republicans believe that the Biden administration is not doing enough to deter Russian work on the device, and others are concerned about China's apparent decision not to pressure Moscow to stop.

On Friday, Mallory Stewart, the assistant secretary of state for arms control, said that while the United States had been aware of Russia's pursuit of such a device for years, "only recently have we been able to make a more precise assessment of their progress."


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