The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday called on the United States to drop what it called irresponsible plans to deploy a missile defense system in space, saying the move risked fueling an arms race.

The ministry said in a statement that the plans looked like an attempt to resurrect the so-called Star Wars programme or U.S. Strategic Defence Initiative which was first announced in the 1980s by then U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

Moscow said it was “deeply concerned” by the U.S. plans which it said it interpreted as confirmation that Washington intended to use space for military purposes in the near future.