Read the full transcript of Tuesday’s briefing in Russia on the subject of the U.S./Russian cooperation in space.

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

Read the full transcript of Tuesday’s briefing in Russia on the subject of the U.S./Russian cooperation in space.

It is very worthwhile reading the entire thing. The text makes it very clear that Russia is not kicking us out of ISS, as has been wrongly reported by several news agencies. It also makes clear that the Russians consider the Obama administration’s actions childish, thoughtless, and unproductive. They also emphasize how the U.S. government is generally an “unreliable” partner in these matters, something that I have noted before when our government has broken space agreements with Europe.

The text also clarifies the GPS situation. The stations we have in Russia are in connection with scientific research, something they wish to do also in the U.S. If an agreement isn’t reached, that research will cease. Actual use of GPS for navigational purposes will not be effected.

Side note: NASA says that they have not yet received any official notice from Russia concerning the briefing above. This might be because Rogozin’s briefing was meant merely as a shot across the bow, or it could be that the Russians have not yet gotten around to doing it. We shall see.



  • Jake

    While I reject some of the tactics being used by Putin (the sending in of Russians to foment separatism) I do recognize that Russia has valid concerns about the political direction of Ukraine. The Russian economy is very weak, and depends on trade with Russia. Unfortunately, Ukraine has played into the hands of Putin by mistreating ethnic Russians and almost making them second class citizens. The whole mess in Ukraine could have been avoided a year ago if the E.U. and the U.S. found a way for Ukraine to strengthen ties with the West without the requirement to join NATO. Establishing the economic relationship should have come first. Then, after a decade of improved economic ties with both the E.U. and Russia, Ukraine could have moved to fully join NATO.

    Unfortunately, President Obama is either clueless or has no interest in resolving the situation. Right now he could lead the temporary Ukrainian government into talks, and to set up an American style constitution which gives more local government control to the oblasts (treat them like we treat our states).

    Russia is right to say America is ‘”unreliable”. But, to be fair, one must acknowledge that Russia is even more unreliable. I seem to remember that they still have not managed to set up their own power supply on the ISS? That they rely on the U.S. for their power (which is currently down by 12% due to an unknown failure)?

    Finally, I don’t blame Russia for setting a date on the GPS situation. Think “keystone”.

  • Tom Billings

    Jake, this is not about just Ukraine. It is about the first step in rebuilding the Russian Empire. That Ukraine wanted to distance itself from an increasingly authoritarian Russia is normal, no matter what complaints about corruption each side hurls at the other. If they had succeeded in doing this, then Putin’s reconstruction project would have an obvious hole in it. *Everbody* who has an Eastern border with Russia knows this. To support Putin is to support classical imperialism, disguised as ethnic struggle.

    The question *we* must answer is not about Ukraine, but about Putin’s reconstruction of the Russian Empire. What do we do?

  • Jake

    Putin is making his move now because America is weak. America has drawn a red line in the sand in Syria that meant nothing, allowed China to take islands from the Philippines without complaint, and on and on and on. We have given Russia the green light to act to re-build the Russian empire. The spark of the current unrest was the decision to join the E.U. In the long term, it’s a good idea. But everyone knew that Russia would object because of the additional step of also joining NATO. Ukraine could have embraced the economic aspects of joining the E.U. and put joining NATO on hold. Then, after it had recovered and grown economically and demonstrated to Russia that the E.U. is not a threat to Russia it could have then joined NATO.

    The West can and should help Russia find a better way. Russia does not want to be treated as a third world nation. The West needs to find a way to show Russia how it can find new heights for the Russian people and their culture through doing good. Difficult, especially when Putin has other goals. But necessary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *