Russia's house chief threatens to desert the Worldwide House Station's program if the US doesn’t elevate sanctions
For the past decade, NASA has turned to Colorado companies repeatedly to create the technology it needs to send astronauts on new lunar missions, as well as to Mars and deep into space. Above, the International Space Station.
NASA | Getty Images
WASHINGTON – Russia's space chief threatened to withdraw from the International Space Station's program on Monday if the US sanctions against Moscow's space company are "not lifted in the near future."
"If the sanctions against Progress and TsNIIMash persist and are not lifted in the near future, the question of Russia's withdrawal from the ISS will be the responsibility of the American partners," said Roscosmos director general Dmitry Rogozin during a hearing in the Russian parliament on Monday . according to an NBC translation.
"Either we work together and the sanctions will be lifted immediately, or we will not work together and set up our own station," he added.
In December, the Trump administration identified Russia's JSC Rocket and Space Center Progress and the JSC Central Research Institute of Machine Building, also known as TsNIIMash, as companies with alleged links to the Russian military. The designation requires US companies to acquire licenses before selling to these foreign companies.
Under this name, the US Department of Commerce also included the Russian foreign intelligence service SVR, Moscow's leading espionage agency, as well as 42 other Russian units and 58 Chinese companies.
The crew member of the ISS Expedition 64, the Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov, is taking part in a training course at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Zvyozdny Gorodok [Star City], Moscow Region.
Anton Novodereschkin | TASS | Getty Images
The US Treasury Department and NASA did not immediately respond to CNBC's requests for comment.
Launched in 1998, the ISS serves as the largest hub for scientific research and collaboration in orbit. The United States, Russia, Canada, and Japan, as well as a dozen countries participating in the European Space Agency, support the ISS.
While Russia has previously signaled that it is considering withdrawing from the program in order to develop its own space station, the ISS represents more than two decades of close cooperation between Washington and Moscow.
In a recent interview with CNN Business, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said that "it would not be good" if the Russians left the program.
"For decades, more than 45 years [that we have worked with] Russians in space, and I want that cooperation to continue," he added.