Russia’s space agency head said Thursday that rockets meant to launch European satellites would now be used for Russian companies or countries friendly to Moscow because Europe had wrecked cooperation by imposing sanctions against his agency.
“At this moment, after the European Space Agency and the whole European Union have taken a frenzied position on the conduct of [Russia’s] special military operation in Ukraine and introduced sanctions against Roscosmos, we consider further cooperation impossible,” Roscosmos Director Dmitry Rogozin said.
The rift in space began when Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 and was hit with a wave of international sanctions.
Earlier, the European Space Agency (ESA) said it was suspending cooperation with Roscosmos over the ExoMars rover mission to search for signs of life on the surface of Mars.
On Monday, British satellite venture OneWeb said 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.
Previously, Rogozin said that sanctions imposed against Russia could “destroy” the US-Russian partnership on the International Space Station (ISS), from which two Russians and an American are due to return to Earth on March 30.
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