Voice

Russia wants international cooperation on space threats

RIA Novosti reports that a senior Russian security official wants more robust multilateralism on space threats:

“The Russian Security Council has repeatedly proposed to develop an interstate target program to counter space threats, such as asteroids, comets and space junk,” [Nikolai] Patrushev said in an interview with the Rossiyskaya Gazeta government daily, to be published in Wednesday’s edition.

“Preventing such threats requires the inter-governmental cooperation of states that have the ability to monitor and analyze the situation in near-Earth space,” the official said.

The Multilateralist

Qatar bashes EU for Syria arms embargo

Qatar's prime minister, Hamed bin Jassim Al Thani, had some tough words for the European Union after it decided to extend its blanket arms embargo on Syria. Via the Guardian:

"I am astonished at this decision," Bin Jassim said. "The rebels only want to be able to defend themselves. At the present time this is the wrong decision. It will only prolong the crisis."

Qatar, along with Saudi Arabia, has supplied money and weapons to the anti-Assad forces but is understood to have been pressured by western governments to ease up because of growing concern that weapons are being funnelled to radical or jihadi groups that are not under the influence of the western-backed Syrian National Coalition. Rebel forces have complained that weapons and ammunition are drying up.