The US President Donald trump on April 6 signed the decree approving the commercial development of resources on the moon and planets of the Solar system. The Russian space Agency has accused trump the desire to capture space territory. International law treats this question ambiguously. About it writes BBC.
According to the document circulated by the press service of the White house, the United States does not consider outer space as the common heritage of mankind and believe that Americans should have the right to conduct commercial exploration, extraction and use of resources in space.
The state Department and other relevant departments are instructed to hold negotiations at the international level for agreements on development and resource extraction on the moon and other celestial bodies.
The decree also stresses that the US does not recognize the legality of the Agreement governing the activities of States on the moon and other celestial bodies adopted by the resolution of the UN General Assembly in December 1979. In this document, in particular, it was stated that the Moon and its natural resources are the common heritage of mankind.
“While the United States prepares to return humans to the moon and send it to Mars, the decree defines the policy of the United States in the use of space resources, such as water and some types of minerals, with the intent to foster commercial development of space”, — said the Executive Secretary of the National space Council under the President of the United States Scott pace.
On 7 April the Deputy Director of the Russian space Agency on international cooperation Sergey Savelyev has accused U.S. authorities of expansionist ambitions.
“Attempts of expropriation of space and aggressive plans for the actual seizure of territories of other planets hardly set the country on a fruitful cooperation”, — said Saveliev.
The Minister Dmitry Rogozin in his Twitter wrote that the decree of the trump refers to the “actual fixing to the US territory of the moon and other celestial bodies”.
In dispute involved and the press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov, who called for a start to give “a legal assessment of such solutions”.
“Still, any privatisation of space in one form or another, and now I’m at a loss to say, could this be seen as an attempt of privatization of space, such attempts would be unacceptable,” concluded Sands.
The principle of unassignment and treaties about the moon
As explained by a member of the Board of Directors of the International Institute of space law Elina Morozova, international law is the basic principle of unassignment of the heavenly bodies, however, the issue with their natural resources is more complex and can be interpreted ambiguously.
“There are two basic positions: one says that the principle of definite unassignment is extended to space resources (that they cannot be used to produce national and commercial purposes, except for scientific research); the other position States that the principle of unassignment of the heavenly bodies does not regulate the extraction of space resources. This dilemma is known for a long time,” explains Morozov.
As for claims to the moon, there are two basic international documents: the Treaty of 1967 on principles governing the activities of States in the exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies and the Agreement governing the activities of States on the moon and other celestial bodies (1979).
The first document was signed by USA, Britain and the Soviet Union; the second document was ratified by 18 countries, but among them there was not one member of the “big seven” or a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
The goal of both agreements was to consolidate the use of the moon for peaceful purposes. In the Treaty of 1967, in particular, it was highlighted that the Moon, like other heavenly bodies, “not subject to national assignment neither by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.”
How to dismiss Elina Morozova, because the United States did not sign the Treaty in 1979, today they are trying to find alternative ways of solving the issue of development of space resources and to emphasize their position.
“Thus the United States initiate a legislative process in international law,” she concludes.
As previously wrote ForumDaily:
The President of the United States Donald trump signed a decree in support of commercial exploitation of resources on the moon and other celestial bodies. The decree States that the US does not recognize the Agreement governing the activities of States on the moon and other celestial bodies, in which the study of the satellite is considered to be the province of all mankind. In the Corporation “Rosatom” believe that the American leader signed the decree actually means the seizure of territories of other planets that does not adjust the country to cooperate.
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