MOSCOW, April 24 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is set to develop its space cooperation with India and China, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos Oleg Ostapenko said on Thursday.
“Recently, we received an invitation from Japan to discuss an array of questions,” he added.
The announcement was made amid threats of Russia’s western partners to freeze or cut cooperation with Russia amid tensions over Ukraine and Crimea secession. NASA threatened to cut space ties with Russia, but Roscosmos has yet received no official notifications.
The Russian space chief said that despite belligerent rhetoric, Russia’s space cooperation with European partners remains unharmed.
“We are now communicating with the space agencies of France, Germany and, particularly, with the European [Space Agency],” he told journalists.
Russia and its BRICS partners India and China have a long history of cooperation, including in space.
In July 2004, Russia and India signed a protocol to boost cooperation in space including space launches and joint development of the GLONASS satellite navigation system.
Deputy head of Roscosmos Sergey Savelyev said in mid-April that Russia and China are coordinating on major future research projects in space and agreed last year to expand it.
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If attempts to drag Russia into a direct military conflict in Ukraine are successful, it would be a catastrophe for Russia comparable to the 1979-1989 Afghan war. There is no direct evidence that the US is trying to bring about a second Afghan war, but indirect evidence abounds.