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Russian space chief warns that sanctions threaten Space Station cooperation

Vladimir Putin met with Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin to discuss the space industry’s development prospects. (en.Kremlin.ru/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

The head of Russia’s space program has said that the future of the International Space Station (ISS) is at risk if punitive sanctions imposed by the West against Moscow are not lifted.

“The restoration of normal relations between partners in the ISS and other joint (space) projects is possible only with the complete and unconditional lifting” of sanctions, Roskosmos head Dmitry Rogozin said on April 2.

Rogozin said that the Western sanctions, some of which predate Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine, could disrupt Russia’s provision of cargo and manned flights to the ISS.

He added that “no one but us can deliver fuel to the station” and said that only the Russian engines powering the cargo craft “are able to correct the ISS’s orbit.”

Space is one of the last remaining areas of cooperation between Moscow and Western countries, including the United States, the EU, and Canadian space agencies.

Last week, a NASA astronaut returned to Earth from the ISS along with two Russian astronauts aboard a Russian space craft.