News / Europe

Russia Retaliates Over Sanctions - from Space

FILE - The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft is shown docked at the International Space Station.
FILE - The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft is shown docked at the International Space Station.
VOA News
Russia says it will withdraw support for the International Space Station by the end of the decade, in response to U.S. sanctions imposed on Moscow for annexing Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin announced the move Tuesday, saying the Kremlin will also bar the United States from operating GPS satellite navigation system sites in Russian territories beginning in June. Additionally, Rogozin said Moscow will bar Washington from using Russian-made rocket engines to launch military satellites.

The latest Russian sanctions come as the United States moves forward with plans to deny export licenses for high-technology items that could aid Russia's military.

In rejecting a U.S. request to prolong use of the space station to 2024, Rogozin called Washington "an unreliable partner...which politicizes everything."

Russian Soyuz spacecraft have carried all astronauts to and from the space station since 2011, when the United States ended its space shuttle project.

Moscow on Tuesday also repeated demands to the Kyiv government for a June 2 pre-payment of nearly $1.7 billion, for next month's natural gas shipment to Ukraine. The pre-payment demand was first announced last week, when Moscow said energy-dependent Ukraine missed a May 7 deadline to pay down its $3.5 billion energy debt.

In Brussels Tuesday, interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said his government is "ready for a market-based approach" to gas pricing; but, he demanded that Moscow stop using gas as "a new type of Russian weapon."

It remains unclear what impact the pre-payment demand will have on the 28-nation European Union. Russia supplies about 30 percent of western Europe's natural gas needs, with about half of those supplies passing through Ukraine.

The United States and its European allies have imposed visa bans, asset freezes and other penalties on a long list of Russian corporate leaders and advisers close to President Vladimir Putin, since Moscow voted to annex the Crimean peninsula in March.

Some information for this report comes from AP, AFP and Reuters.

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by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
May 13, 2014 10:04 PM
I don't think the "sanctions" from the Space should be viewed seriously by current White House Administration. Every speech about Russia Mr. Obama have been starting off with his mantra about Russia as a third rate country, a regional insignificant power and so on. So, the USA that has become great under Mr. Obama will just ignore 'the sanctions' and proceed further in his rhetoric and deeds. The USA sanctions that have been already been imposed on "third rate Russia" served as a wake-up call for the "Russian Bear" after prolonged slumber. The USA under Mr. Obama has become a safe heaven for abducting Russian children as in the last example with a mother in her fourth marriage to an American national. Her name is Orlova Elena Evgenyevna, born October 1969, third time divorced three years ago. With her two Russian born children Orlov Artemy Ilyich, born June 30, 1997 and daughter Orlova Veronica Ilyinichna, born December 25, 2006 she feels safe hidden in the USA.

by: Dell Stator from: US
May 13, 2014 8:41 PM
Agreed, US space policy to save a few bucks and improve US Russia relations by outsourcing to Russia was, no other word, idiotic. A scheme invented by the State Dept head in the sand types and penny wise pound short Bean Counters. Where was our leadership while this was going on, trying to score brownie points arguing over the latest budget deadlock, again, and ...... instead of paying attention to US NATIONAL INTERESTS. Double NASA's budget Tomorrow and reinstate the entire manned space mission - if need be dust off Apollo to get men up until private companies come on line, and help them by offering billion dollar prize to first one to do it by say, 2020

by: AmericanHorseman from: America
May 13, 2014 8:27 PM
Thanks to Obama. I wonder if the rest of the World knows how much Obama is hated here in America. My guess is that they have no idea.

by: Not Again from: Canada
May 13, 2014 5:36 PM
One of the biggests scientific space development failures of the Obama administration = not to ensure that a replacement space vehicle engine/launcher were fully operational; same applies to the space shuttle they should not have been scrapped. This is what occurrs when people do not carry detailed and factual risk analysis, or just ignore it.
Critical strategic programs should never be sold out, just to save a few dollars. Thousands of great US workers, that had earned huge accolades over the decades of space exploration, were put out of work/thrown under the bus, based on some very faulty advice, at best, and at worst not listening to those that are experts in the field; a sorting way/decision making way we observe on some other strategic failure issues, this one goes clearly on shoulders of the current administration; at least one full heavy launch system facility and at least two space shuttle system, for contingencies, should have been left fully operational, until replaced, and the large rocket engine and launch vehicles also should have continued production until totally US built replacements were fully operational. The entire ISS/satellite program is at full risk. These situations were fully predictable, with just a bit of common sense, and a brief review of history. VERY SAD OUTCOME!

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