Speaking to reporters, Gen. Vladimir Popovkin, commander of the Russian Space Forces, didn't refer directly to the United States but analysts said there was no mistaking his audience, the Novosti news agency reported.
"Should any country deploy weapons in space, then the laws of armed warfare are such that retaliatory weapons are certain to appear," Popovkin said. "A sizable war could break out."
He said Russia and China have petitioned the United Nations to take up the issue.
"We do not want to fight in space, and we do not want to call the shots there either, but we will not permit any other country to do so," he said in the Novosti report.
Last year, U.S. President George Bush said his country had a right to develop space weapons to defend its orbiting satellites and other resources.