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Luxembourg Minister François Bausch: “Russia will be held accountable for its actions”

The 2022 GOVSATCOM conference for EU Defence and Security opened in Luxembourg this morning as the world was shocked by the Russian military offensive in Ukraine.

“I have to start with some very sad news. Indeed, Russia launched a major military attack on Ukraine and Luxembourg condemns this. This will follow with strong consequences around Europe. Russia will be held accountable for its actions; this will not be accepted in the EU community.” This was among the first words of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Minister for Mobility and Public Works, M. François Bausch, when opening the GOVSATCOM conference programme this morning.

This event is the main of its kind in Luxembourg dedicated to Defence & Security topics gathering the International SATCOM actors from the satellite, governmental, institutional and defence fields.

With 600 participants registered, the event started this morning with the official participation of Minister François Bausch to share his ambitions to further develop cooperation to reach common goals and this relying on space assets.

Space offers unprecedented opportunities and space along with cyber defence have become very important. However, it is also an important area of conflict and space plays an essential role in ensuring the security but also the safety of military operations. Space assets contribute to the protection and are key for national security.

Another growing threat is linked to space debris which amount increases with each launch. “It is clear that the risk of collision and damage will augment in the coming years.” The lack of clarity in this area could represent an obstacle in dealing with this issue and that’s why the community must work and make sure this is respected by all states. In this context, Luxembourg places itself as a reliable partner which take very seriously its responsibilities in defence.

The story began back in 1985 with the creation of SES and since then, the country has developed its presence in the space sector and has launched projects to foster defence. The Next step is planned for 2023 with the launch of Luxeosys, a military observation satellite to provide reliable and controlled capabilities. “The government approved the strategy two days ago and we now need to present the strategy to the Parliament”.

The strategy is based on four guiding principles: favour the cooperation between countries sharing the same value in order to find the right partners; increase the resilience of space capabilities – with Luxeosys, Luxembourg will consolidate its role as partner by 2023 not only to meet national needs but also those of international countries; preserve a peaceful use of space; attract and secure a skilled and motivated workforce.

This strategy will help achieve long-term objectives including the consolidation of existing systems, support the freedom of access to space, enhance cyber protection and support the international norms that ensure the peaceful use of space.

“This strategy for Luxembourg will have an important impact in its efforts for defence and the project will be presented to Parliament on Monday next week” ended Minister Bausch.

The conference continues this afternoon with keynotes by senior members of the EU and NATO, among others, exploring the communications challenges of the future and key security issues. Registration is free : https://www.govsatcom.lu/govsatcom/2022/