Russia to withdraw from International Space Station over sanctions

The head of the Russian space agency says its cooperation with International Space Station partners will come to an end
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Russia has announced it will leave the International Space Station due to the sanctions being imposed on Moscow over its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. 

"The decision has been taken already, we’re not obliged to talk about it publicly," Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin said Sunday.

He also said Russia will give a year's notice to any and all space station partners before Russia's official departure, "in accordance with our obligations."

Earlier this month, Rogozin said Roscosmos' cooperation with NASA and the European Space Agency would soon come to an end. At present, the space station is the final significant space project on which Moscow is collaborating with other space agencies including the NASA. 

Rogozin shared his opinion regarding the ongoing sanctions being leveled against Moscow when he recently tweeted, "I consider this state of affairs unacceptable. Sanctions from the US, Canada, the European Union and Japan are aimed at blocking financial, economic and production activities of our high-tech enterprises.

"I believe that the restoration of normal relations between partners in the International Space Station and other joint projects is possible only with the complete and unconditional lifting of illegal sanctions."

In March, the Roscosmos director had appealed to international space agencies, asking that they lift sanctions on Russian rocket and space companies so that world on the space station could continue. 

Last week, several U.S. astronauts and an Italian astronaut arrived at the station, where three Russian cosmonauts, three other U.S. astronauts, and a German crew mate were already aboard.