Russia halts space launches from French Guiana over sanctions

By: AFP
Published: 05:57 PM, 26 Feb, 2022
Russia halts space launches from French Guiana over sanctions
Caption: Russia halts space launches from French Guiana over sanctions.
Stay tunned with 24 News HD Android App
Get it on Google Play

Russia is suspending space launches from French Guiana and withdrawing its technical personnel in response to EU sanctions over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, the space agency said Saturday.

"In response to EU sanctions against our enterprises, Roskosmos is suspending cooperation with European partners over organising space launches from the Kourou cosmodrome and withdrawing its technical personnel... from French Guiana," Dmitry Rogozin, chief of the Russian space agency, said on messaging app Telegram.

There are currently 87 Russian nationals in French Guiana, the agency said. 

The next Soyuz launch from Kourou was scheduled for 6 April.

An agreement between the European Space Agency and Russia on the use of launchers was signed in 2005. It enabled the Russian Soyuz launchers to use Europe's spaceport in French Guiana as a launch base.

Soyuz lifted off for the first time from the spaceport in French Guiana in 2011. 

On Thursday, Russian leader Vladimir Putin unleashed a full-scale invasion of pro-Western Ukraine that has killed dozens of people, forced more than 50,000 to flee Ukraine in just 48 hours and sparked fears of a greater conflict in Europe.

The assault has prompted a wave of new Western sanctions against Russia including an export ban that targets the defence and aerospace sectors.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.