The head of the Russian Space Agency said that the sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies over the Russian invasion of Ukraine could destroy cooperation on the International Space Station (ISS).
After President Biden announced Thursday that the United States would impose sanctions on major Russian banks and impose export controls on Russia to limit imports of high-tech, Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin tweeted that the current location of the International Space Station is under Russian control.
“If you prevent cooperation with us, who will rescue the International Space Station (ISS) from orbit out of control and crash into the United States or … in Europe?” Rogozin said in one of his tweets. There is also the possibility of a 500-ton structure falling over India and China. Do you want to threaten them with such a possibility? The International Space Station does not fly over Russia, so all the risks lie with you. Are you ready for them?”
There are currently four NASA astronauts, two Russian cosmonauts and one European cosmonaut aboard the outpost, according to CNN.
A NASA spokesperson told CNN that they will continue to “work with all of our international partners, including the state space corporation Roscosmos, for the ongoing safe operations of the International Space Station.”
“New export control measures will continue to enable civil space cooperation between the United States and Russia. No changes are planned to the Agency’s support for ongoing operations at orbital and ground stations,” the spokesman added.
Former NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman told CNN that the International Space Station, a collaboration between the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada and the European Space Agency, cannot function if the United States and Russia do not cooperate.
“The Russian part cannot work without electricity from the American side, and the American side cannot work without the propulsion systems that are on the Russian side,” Raisman said. “So you can’t make an amicable divorce. You can’t do a conscious separation.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed concern about the future of the International Space Station during remarks to the House of Commons on Thursday, saying he supported continued cooperation on the International Space Station, but that current circumstances made it “difficult to see how it could continue even this normal,” according to the network. CNN.
The news comes as the White House announced on Friday that it would directly punish Russian President Vladimir Putin and other senior officials in Moscow in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
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