MOSCOW, April 8 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian space agency Roscosmos has no plans to suspend cooperation with NASA on the International Space Station (ISS), the agency’s deputy head said Tuesday.
NASA announced last week that amid tensions over Ukraine it would freeze joint projects with Russia, excluding collaboration on the International Space Station.
“We are in no way raising the question or trying to develop a response [to NASA's sanctions] because we don’t see any grounds for it,” Denis Lyskov said.
“All of the questions we have developed have always had an international format,” Lyskov said at a press conference at RIA Novosti.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees the space industry, mocked the move last week, saying that space cooperation between Russia and NASA was already limited to joint work on the ISS.
A number of NASA employees have condemned the decision to suspend the ties, saying cooperation in the peaceful exploration of outer space should not be affected by earthly politics.
The United States depends on the Russian Soyuz rocket and spacecraft – widely considered the most reliable manned space launch system in history – to ferry its astronauts to the ISS since the retirement of the US space shuttle in 2011.
The US pays Russia over $70 million for each seat aboard Soyuz.