Russia sought China’s APPROVAL for missile test, US diplomat claims. His proof? They didn’t come to his Twitter to deny it
Ignoring one’s tweet can apparently not only spell the end to a teenage romance, but it can also be proof for high-profile geopolitical assertions. That is, at least, according to a high-ranking US diplomat.
The recent secretive test of a Russian – presumably – anti-ballistic missile weapon has seemingly caused quite a stir in the US. Apart from prompting the Pentagon to play some solid ‘Russians are coming’ tunes straight from the 1950s, it caused Robert Wood, the US Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament (CD), to hit a new high – or rather, low – in producing baseless allegations against Moscow.
The CD is a UN-linked international forum on arms control and disarmament which has been largely catatonic and dysfunctional for some two decades due to the participants’ inability to see eye-to-eye on a wide range of issues, including nuclear disarmament. Its US envoy is still very active, however – at least on Twitter.
After the Pentagon broke the news of the test, claiming it was an “anti-satellite weapon,” Woods took to his social media platform of choice, alleging that Moscow sought approval from Beijing before conducting the launch.
One has to assume Russia received approval in Beijing before conducting the ASAT test. https://t.co/k7YZJR9YMv
— Robert Wood (@USAmbCD) April 16, 2020
Asked how exactly he was able to make such an assertion, Woods stated bluntly that “we know” Russia and China are cooperating in “this area.” Moreover, since they did not take the time to descend on his Twitter feed to deny the claim it must be accurate, the diplomat explained.
So you’re basing complex military assessments on whether the PR flak running MFA social media accounts follow you?
I worry, Robert, that we are missing the forest for the trees. If we want to influence RF and PRC behavior, we have to prioritize and use sound diplomatic policies
— Jon “Please Stay Inside” Wolfsthal (@JBWolfsthal) April 17, 2020
The Pentagon bemoaned the test earlier this week as yet “another example that the threats to US and allied space systems are real, serious, and growing.” It also accused Moscow of “hypocrisy” for its call to keep space weapons-free, since the US military alleges the tested weapon is actually a satellite killer.
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While no official word on the launch was provided by Russia, the system is believed to be an anti-ballistic missile weapon, which actually ‘threatens’ only nuclear warheads that might be heading towards Moscow.
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