Russia said Tuesday it will pull out of the International Space Station after 2024 to build its own orbiting outpost. The country’s space chief made the announcement during a meeting with President Vladmir Putin.
Yuri Borisov, CEO of state space agency Roscosmos, said during the meeting that Russia plans to fulfill a promise to its partners before fully stepping away.
“Of course, we will comply with all our commitments to our partners, but the decision to leave this station after 2024 has been made," Borisov said during the meeting. “I think we will have started work on the Russian space station by that time.”
Moscow has made it clear that creating a Russian space station is one of its main priorities.
The U.S. space agency has not been made specifically aware of Russia pulling out of the International Space Station, a senior NASA official told the Reuters news agency.
NASA and the other partners involved in the International Space Station hope to continue their partnership through 2030, but Russia has been unwilling to commit to anything past 2024.
The announcement comes at a time of heightened tensions between the West and Moscow due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It also comes just a month after NASA and Roscosmos agreed to continue using Russian rockets to deliver astronauts to the space station.