Special Projects

On international space law development

With diverse space exploration activities noticeably intensifying and the number of participants expanding and encompassing countries, international organizations along with private entities, we register a growing body of interconnected issues, legal as well, yet to be settled and, thus, deeply analyzed and developed in order to substantiate decisions aiming to shape solid foundations for further advancement of space exploration activities and international space law.

It is becoming evident, that such process is to be greatly impacted by the bottlenecks accumulated within the current international relations system. Furthermore, space itself is in immediate danger of becoming the subject of international disputes.

Such a scenario, should it happen, runs counter to the interests of the Russian Federation, its traditional policy aimed at preserving peaceful outer space exploration activities and most wide international cooperation in outer space research and endeavors serving the interests and the well-being of all humankind, as well as based on the ban of national appropriation of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies. Still unresolved relevant issues are to be regulated in the context of progressive evolvement of international law and in accordance with UN Charter principles and the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.

Regrettably, a number of leading space powers, allocating significant intellectual and material resources to advance their space exploration programmes and steered by the US, firmly reject proposition to develop any new international universal treaty within the UN framework.

In the long term these countries are inclined to bet on the adoption– somewhere in the future – of some space exploration rules, extending to research and utilization of space resources as well. Such rules, reflecting their approach and designed as a number of soft law initiatives, are planned to be incorporated through national legislation and agreements with other countries and international organizations sharing such an approach.

Russia, as well as the majority of the UN member states, regards the UN Committee on
the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, to remain the key venue to discuss the serious aspects of
the international space law. Under any circumstances we are firmly guided by the provisions of the 1967 Treaty and its faithful interpretations as the groundwork to resolve any remaining issues according to the generally recognized norms of international law.