Russia Willing To Cooperate With US In Space Despite Strained Relations - Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 29th September, 2022) Russia is interested in pragmatic cooperation with the United States in space despite the current state of bilateral relations, and expects that joint plans to send Russian cosmonauts and US astronauts to space will be implemented, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

"It is in the interests of our countries to continue pragmatic cooperation in space. Of course, we welcome a successful start to the practical implementation of the agreement on integrated flights signed by state corporation Roscosmos and NASA in July this year," Zakharova said.

She also expressed her hope that the US would start to be "guided by common sense" in relations with Russia.

"We are ready for constructive cooperation with all actors in space activities and welcome all projects and initiatives aimed at space exploration and its use in the interests of all mankind," the spokeswoman added.

In July, Roscosmos and NASA signed an agreement on integrated flights of cosmonauts and astronauts to the ISS. As part of the agreement, the Soyuz-2.1a rocket with a Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft was launched from Baikonur to the ISS on September 21 carrying another crew including Russian cosmonauts Sergei Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin as well as NASA astronaut Francisco Rubio. The only female cosmonaut at Roscosmos, Anna Kikina, will fly to the ISS on the US-made Crew Dragon spacecraft, though the exact date is yet to be announced.

The agreement provides for two more flights of Russian and US spacecraft with international crews in 2023 and 2024.