WASHINGTON – NASA is downplaying a Russian official’s statements about an earlier end to co-operation on the International Space Station because of U.S. sanctions on Moscow.
Russia deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin said Tuesday in tweets and a news conference that American sanctions imposed because of action in Ukraine would boomerang. He tweeted that Russia wouldn’t continue co-operating with the United States on the 15-nation International Space Station past 2020, as NASA had hoped. The United States relies on Russian Soyuz capsules to fly to and from the station.
@fka_roscosmos doesn't plan to continue cooperation with the US on the ISS after 2020
— Dmitry Rogozin (@DRogozin) May 13, 2014
Rogozin also tweeted that crucial Russian rocket engines would only be shipped to the U.S. for non-military purposes.
NASA spokesman Allard Beutel said co-operation in space has been a hallmark of U.S.-Russian relations and the agency has not been notified of any changes.
© 2014 The Canadian Press