American astronauts heading to the International Space Station may soon be turned away following a recent announcement from Russian officials.
Citing “out of place and inappropriate” sanctions against Russia over the ongoing tension in Ukraine, deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin threatened that “the boomerang effect” of them may be not only an end to American involvement on the space station, but the space station altogether.
Rogozin said Russia may reject the U.S. proposal to keep the station, which both countries maintain, operational after 2020, and “divert these funds to more promising space projects.” Additionally, although 15 countries share the station, the only way to get there is on a Russian spacecraft.
“The Russian segment can exist independently from the American one,” Rogozin said. “The U.S. one cannot.”
Russia took these actions following recent sanctions that denied export licenses for high-tech items that could go to the Russian military.