Space chief Dmitry Rogozin has announced the nation is ready to withdraw its astronauts from one of the last areas of cooperation with the West after claiming sanctions have “destroyed” the entity in space.
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Russia is poised to withdraw its astronauts from the International Space Station as the nation cut ties with NASA and the European Space Agency.
Dmitry Rogozin, director of the space company Roskosmos, told Russian state television on Sunday that Moscow has made the decision to end cooperation with its international partners on the ISS.
He declined to give a date but said Russia’s space program will honor the stipulated one-year notice period.
It’s an abrupt change in sentiment from Friday, when Rogozin said Russia intends to work on the ISS “until at least 2024.”
The news has cast doubt on the future of the ISS, one of the last remaining areas of cooperation between Russia and the West.
Getty Images Europe)
The space station requires constant maintenance to maintain a stable orbit, and without Russia’s contribution, it could be decommissioned much earlier than originally planned.
In April, Rogozin published — and later deleted — a series of tweets imposing sanctions on Russia after invading Ukraine.
“I believe that restoring normal relations between partners in the International Space Station and other joint projects is only possible if illegal sanctions are fully and unconditionally lifted,” he said at the time.
For decades, Russia has transported American astronauts to and from the ISS aboard its Soyuz rockets, but ended the practice in 2020. Negotiations to resume joint flights were underway when the Ukraine war broke out and put the plans on hold.
Agency Anadolu via Getty Images)
Rogozin had previously threatened to abandon an American astronaut on the ISS and crash him in the United States.
In March, Rogozin said Europe had destroyed cooperation by imposing sanctions on his agency, and that missiles meant to launch European satellites were now being used for Russian companies or Moscow-friendly countries.
He said in a Chinese TV interview that this would apply to about 10 missiles.
“At this moment, after the European Space Agency and the entire European Union took a frenzied position on conducting the (Russian) special military operation in Ukraine and imposed sanctions on Roskosmos, we consider further cooperation impossible,” Rogozin said.
The space rift has had a noticeable impact since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 and was hit by a wave of international sanctions.
The European Space Agency announced in March that it was suspending collaboration with Roscosmos on the ExoMars rover mission to search for signs of life on the surface of Mars.
British satellite company OneWeb said it has struck a deal with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to send its satellites into orbit after canceling a launch of 36 satellites from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on March 4 over short-term demands from Moscow.
Rogozin said that resuming space cooperation with Europe in any form is possible only if the European side thinks about “what they destroyed with their own hands” and has an open talk with Moscow.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/russia-pull-out-international-space-26846457 Russia withdraws from International Space Station, raising doubts about project's future - World News