You don’t have to be very clever to realize that Russia, today, it is not a country that is particularly well valued abroad. Although there is no unanimity in the consideration given to it by the international community, the consensus prevails, logically, that the aggression against Ukraine has no justification, and that it is the executive led by Putin that has tried to put on the table the specter of a third world war in which it has even raised the possibility of using its nuclear arsenal.
It happens, however (and we have seen this in many cases throughout history) that certain activities, some specific fields, are often left out of conflict, and there are great international challenges that deserve to be treated separately. And one of the most obvious and logical cases is, without a doubt, the scientific field, many of whose projects transcend flags, borders and nationalities.
Thus, with half the world in turmoil over Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, it seemed that space cooperation was going to be left out of the conflict. And it is that we remember that the country plays an important role in relation to the International Space Station. Not in vain, let us remember that until the arrival of the SpaceX Crew Dragon, scientists and astronauts were transferred to the International Space Station by means of the Russian Soyuz, in a great example of international collaboration.
However, and after having verified that the international blockades seem to have struck with more force than the Muscovite calculations should have pointed out at first, now it seems that this is another red line that both the Kremlin and Roskosmos have decided to cross. And it is that, as we can read in a thread on Twitter by Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space agency, the «restoration of normal relations between partners in the ISS and other projects is possible only with the complete and unconditional lifting of illegal sanctions«.
Глава НАСА сенатор Нельсон, руководитель Европейского космического агентства Йозеф Ашбахер и глава Канадского космического агентства Лиза Кэмпбелл ответили на моё к ним обращение с требованием отмены санкций против ряда предприятий российской ракетно-космической отрасли. pic.twitter.com/rnMYiK9wal
— РОГОЗИН (@Rogozin) April 2, 2022
In the thread, which is basically a complaint from the rest of the space agencies do not have the ability to interfere in the foreign policy of their statesand a loud cry for how unfair the rest of the world is with Russia (not even that they had tried to invade a country after a unilateral declaration of war, go), establishing, and I quote again «illegal sanctions» against the country. About the reason that has motivated said sanctions? It is seen that there was no space left in the thread to comment on anything.
The importance of Russia in the space race is undoubtedly key. Pioneers in many aspects, Roskosmos has been a reference for many decades. However, an action of this type would undoubtedly contribute to tarnishing its image in an indelible way, and would mark a before and after when it comes to the rest of the world’s agencies. when considering any type of collaboration with the Russian agency.
The future of the International Space Station is, we have already commented on it on occasion, somewhat uncertain, and if Roskosmos finally confirms its threat and Russia withdraws from the project, the situation could get even more complicated for the veteran station, a project of decades of research, work, effort and investment, which should be left out of the conflict. However, it is not the first time that Russia threatens to leave the ISS, so perhaps, deep down, this is just a childish excuse for something that, in reality, they have been wanting to do for a while. Which would be just as embarrassing for Russia, of course.