News / Europe

Russia Threatens End to Scientific Cooperation

A NASA image taken from video shows the Russian Soyuz spacecraft (L), ferrying three crew members, approaching the International Space Station, March 27, 2014.
A NASA image taken from video shows the Russian Soyuz spacecraft (L), ferrying three crew members, approaching the International Space Station, March 27, 2014.
George Putic
Differences between the West and Russia over the situation in Eastern Ukraine are beginning to affect scientific cooperation between Washington and Moscow. Russia is threatening to close U.S. satellite navigation monitoring stations in Russia.  

The threat to close stations that monitor signals from the U.S. satellite-based Global Positioning System followed other warnings about ending scientific cooperation.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin also announced Moscow will ban the United States from using Russian rocket engines to launch military satellites and cut Russian participation on the International Space Station by four years.

There are 11 GPS tracking stations in Russia that may be forced to suspend operations on June 1. According to University of New Brunswick Professor Richard B. Langley, the stations are used for extracting scientific data from the satellite signals.

“If they are shut down, they will not affect the day-to-day operations of GPS and the kind of positioning and navigation that we do with our car navigation units and so forth," he said. "But it will have a significant impact on the scientific studies that are being done using GPS signals.”

The ground part of America's GPS system consists of a master control station and several dedicated monitor stations that keep the satellites in proper orbit and correct timing errors. None of them are located on Russian territory.

Russia's satellite navigation system, GLONASS, also has several monitor stations outside Russia, and Moscow would like to build a few on U.S. territory. Washington is refusing permission and Rogozin says if agreement on that is not reached by September 1, operation of U.S. GPS tracking stations in Russia will end permanently.

Langley, who was interviewed by Victoria Kupchinetsky of VOA’s Russian Service, stressed neither country's stations can be used for anything other than monitoring satellites.

“I can not envisage how they could be used for spying," he said. "We know the exact location of them.  In many cases they would be at scientific institutions, typically the data is freely available.”

Langley says shutting down the tracking stations may also hurt Russian science because its scientists also benefit from data extracted from GPS and GLONASS signals.

You May Like

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mark from: Virginia
May 16, 2014 3:28 PM
Ahh, now the other side of the coin is being seen and felt in Washington with regards to the sanctions being imposed upon Russia. Did they (politicians in Washington) not expect the Russians to retaliate in some fashion?
This is why imposing sanctions and isolating Russia is reckless and bad policy to pursue. This is why it is crucial to keep the lines of communication (literally) open between America and Russia. When you share technology with another country, it is not advisable to piss them off, or they will shut off their half of the sharing, and leave you standing in the dark.
It is now our turn to lie in the bed that we made for ourselves...and find it very uncomfortable indeed.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid