White House: Russia’s anti-satellite capability is concerning but no immediate threat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russia is developing an anti-satellite capability that has not yet been deployed and U.S. President Joe Biden has requested direct diplomatic engagement with Moscow about it, the White House said on Thursday.

John Kirby, the White House national security spokesperson, said the weapon is concerning but poses no immediate threat. “This is still a capability they are developing. We are still analyzing the information that is available to that,” he said.

At the daily White House news briefing, Kirby shed light on the new Russian capability after a senior Republican lawmaker, U.S. Representative Mike Turner, on Wednesday warned of a “serious national security threat.”

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan planned to brief four senior lawmakers about the threat on Thursday.

Kirby said Biden has been kept informed about what he said was “related to an anti-satellite capability that Russia is developing.”

He said the new capability had not been deployed. He said it was a troubling development “but no immediate threat to anyone’s safety” on earth.

Kirby said Biden has directed a series of initial actions in response, including additional briefings to congressional leaders and direct diplomatic engagement with Russia.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Steve Holland; Editing by Chris Reese and Chizu Nomiyama)

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