Russia says cooperation in space only possible once sanctions are lifted

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Russian space director on Saturday said the restoration of normal relations between partners in the International Space Station (ISS) and other joint projects is possible only with the complete and unconditional lifting of illegal sanctions.

In a series of social media posts, Dmitry Rogozin, head of Roscosmos, said the purpose of the sanctions is to kill the Russian economy, plunge its people into despair and hunger, and bring the country to its knees.

“It is clear that they will not be able to do this, but the intentions are clear,” he added.

“Specific proposals of Roskosmos on the timing of the completion of cooperation within the The ISS with the space agencies of the United States, Canada, the European Union and Japan will be reported to the leadership of our country in the near future,” Rogozin said.

Rogozin further said the head of NASA, Senator Nelson, the head of the European Space Agency, Josef Aschbacher, and the head of the Canadian Space Agency, Lisa Campbell, responded to the appeal to them demanding the lifting of sanctions against a number of enterprises in the Russian rocket and space industry.

He has previously said that the sanctions could “destroy” the U.S.-Russian partnership on the ISS.

The West has introduced sweeping sanctions against Russia over what Moscow calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine, launched on Feb. 24.

Despite the tensions, a US astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts safely landed in Kazakhstan on Wednesday after leaving the space station aboard the same capsule.

The European Space Agency said last month it was suspending cooperation with Roscosmos over the ExoMars rover mission to search for signs of life on the surface of Mars.

British satellite venture OneWeb said last month it had contracted with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to send its satellites into orbit after calling off a March 4 launch of 36 satellites from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan because of last-minute demands imposed on it by Moscow.

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