Russia suspends Western-backed space projects in response to sanctions

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Russia’s space agency Roscosmos announced the suspension of several collaborative projects with Europe and the US, citing recent Western sanctions.  

“In a response to European Union sanctions on our companies, Roscosmos is halting cooperation with European partners in organizing space launches from the spaceport of Kuru and recalling its personnel, including the combined starting crew, from the French Guiana,” the agency stated in a Twitter post published on February 16, 2022. 

Roscosmos added that 87 Russian citizens are currently in French Guiana, and the agency is currently working on various solutions to bring them back to Russia.  

The agency also said Western involvement on the Venera-D mission might be terminated. 

“In the context of new and old sanctions I find the US offer to participate in the Russian project of the Venera-D interplanetary station inappropriate,” Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos, said in another tweet posted by the agency. 

Roscosmos offered NASA a stake in the Venera-D project in 2014, resulting in the establishment of a joint team, which worked on some of the mission’s aspects. Venera-D was intended to be the most ambitious mission to Venus to date, delivering an orbiter and a lander to the neighboring planet, with multiple high-precision instruments, manufactured by NASA, onboard. 

Roscosmos did not comment on whether the end of the collaboration would change Venera-D’s goals or timeline.  

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