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Sunday, January 6, 2019

NASA Calls Off Roscosmos Chief's Visit to US

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin. Credit: Alexei Filippov / TASS via Getty Images

NASA has called off the planned visit of Dimitry Rogozin, the chief of Russia’s space agency who is subject to US and European Union sanctions, following critical press reports and calls by US lawmakers to cancel the visit.

Roscosmos is waiting for official explanations from NASA as to the return visit of a Russian delegation to the US, the state corporation said in a statement on Saturday.

Roscosmos expects official explanations regarding the return visit "in accordance with the earlier received invitation," it said.

The corporation said "work on the negotiating position of the state corporation on cooperation of the sides on the International Space Station program and other space programs has not been suspended as of yet".

Earlier, Russia’s state-run space corporation said it had not received an official notification from NASA that the visit of its chief Dmitry Rogozin to the United States was postponed.

NASA said in a statement on Friday that it had informed the Russian side Rogozin’s visit to the United States had to be postponed. Also, the agency said no new date for the visit had been set yet.

NASA’s spokeswoman Megan Powers said on Wednesday NASA was pushing ahead with preparations for Rogozin’s visit to the United States despite criticism in Washington. Earlier, a number of US officials and legislators opposed plans for Rogozin’s visit to the United States. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told TASS in an interview last October he would like Rogozin to speak at Rice University (Houston, Texas) during his visit to the United States.

He also declared that the Trump Administration had made a decision to pause sanctions against Rogozin, thus enabling the head of the Russian space agency to pay a visit to the United States at NASA’s invitation. Rogozin has been under US sanctions since 2014 over the situation in Ukraine.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine visited Russia in October 2018. In particular, he delivered a lecture at Moscow State University and said relationship between Russia and the US in space was strong.

Credit: TASSrferl.org

2 comments:

  1. This is spitefulness. How is this going to encourage space exploration between nations?

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