Kremlin Says Trump's Moon-Mining Plans Need 'analysis' As Artemis Accords Reportedly Set to Initially Shun Russia

Draft proposals from the Trump administration about mining on the moon need to be reviewed to ensure they comply with law, Kremlin officials say.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters yesterday authorities are aware of the so-called "Artemis Accords," but stressed they will need "thorough analysis... from the existing international law standpoint."

Reuters revealed this week that the U.S. is seeking to formalize fresh guidelines on how companies can operate while mining resources on the moon, suggesting "safety zones" should be used to help protect bases from rival countries or companies.

Named after a new NASA space program aiming to send humans to the moon by 2024, it was reported the U.S. aims to negotiate with space partners, including Canada, Japan, the UAE and Europe, within weeks. Russia, according to Reuters, would not be an initial partner in the plan, despite its work on the International Space Station (ISS).

Sources said the Pentagon increasingly views Moscow as "hostile."

Broadly, the Kremlin's response echoed its reaction to President Donald Trump's signing of an executive order in April that focused on mining resources from the moon. The order stated the U.S. does not consider outer space to be a "global commons."

Peskov said at the time any attempt to privatize space would be unacceptable, but stressed the proposals required legal expertise.

"I would refrain from [assessing it] right now. But any attempts at 'privatizing' outer space in these or those formats—right now I cannot say whether it can be viewed as an outer space 'privatization' attempt—would be unacceptable," Peskov stated.

The American military is increasingly looking to the skies when it comes to warfare, and has warned about the rising space capabilities of its rivals.

The U.S. Space Command recently blasted the launch of a Russian missile believed to be capable of destroying satellites in low Earth orbit. The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) previously said Russia has "robust and capable space services."

But with NASA's missions now planning to return humans to the moon's surface, some attention has returned to the possibility of mining resources from space.

The U.S is a member of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty—which states no nation can claim ownership of the moon or other celestial bodies. However, globally accepted laws about the domain of space remain conflicting and largely in their infancy.

Dr. Scott Pace, Executive Secretary of the National Space Council, said Trump's April 6 executive order reaffirmed support for the 1967 treaty while rejecting other legislation, including the 1979 Moon Agreement, which he said lacked broad support.

"[It] clarifies the U.S. does not view outer space as a 'global commons,' and it reinforces the 2015 decision by Congress that Americans should have the right to engage in the commercial exploration, recovery, and use of resources in space," he added.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the Artemis Accords, which Reuters reported have not yet been shared with allies.

This picture taken early on April 8, 2020 shows the closest supermoon to the Earth, also known as a pink moon, behind the cross of Ivan the Great Cathedral inside the Kremlin in downtown Moscow. KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty