'No evidence' Russia has decided what to do with emerging anti-satellite weapon, Biden says

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (Evan Vucci, Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden said Friday there was no sign Russia has decided to go ahead and deploy an emerging anti-satellite weapon, the disclosure of which has rattled Washington this week.

The White House has confirmed that U.S. intelligence officials have information indicating Russia has obtained such a capability, although such a weapon is not yet operational. Biden said Friday that “there’s no evidence that they have made a decision to go forward with doing anything in space,” while he continued to stress that there was no immediate danger to humans.

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“There is no nuclear threat to the people of America or anywhere else in the world with what Russia’s doing at the moment,” Biden told reporters at the White House during remarks on the reported death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The president confirmed that the capability obtained by Russia “related to satellites and space and damaging those satellites potentially,” and that those capabilities could “theoretically do something that was damaging.”

But Russia hasn’t moved forward with plans yet, and, Biden added: “My hope is, it will not.”

The news of the capability emerged this week after a cryptic warning from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner, R-Ohio, who urged Biden to declassify information relating to what he called a “serious national security threat."

That declassification process had been underway when Turner released the statement, according to the White House.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in Germany for the Munich Security Conference, raised the matter with Indian Foreign Minister Jaishankar and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and “emphasized that the pursuit of this capability should be a matter of concern,” according to a U.S. official traveling with Blinken in Munich.

The official, who was granted anonymity to discuss details of meetings that hadn’t been publicly disclosed, said Blinken will continue raising it throughout his meetings at the security forum.


AP Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee in Munich contributed to this report.

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