Russia says to launch own space station in 2025
Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said work had begun on the fist module of a new station, after officials warned that Russia was considering pulling out of the ISS, one of the few successful examples of cooperation with the West.
The announcement came with tensions soaring over espionage claims, a Russian troop build-up along Ukraine's borders and the deteriorating health of President Vladimir Putin's imprisoned critic Alexei Navalny.
"The first core module of the new Russian orbital station is in the works," Rogozin said in a statement on messaging app Telegram.
Roscosmos said on Monday that a decision on quitting the ISS had not yet been made.
"When we make a decision we will start negotiations with our partners on forms and conditions of cooperation beyond 2024," the space agency told AFP in a statement.
Rogozin has announced a series of ambitious plans in recent years but his agency has struggled under funding cuts, with analysts saying Putin is more interested in military technology than space exploration.