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Russia backs off its threats to leave ISS partnership

In several short news posts on Russia’s state-run press today, the Putin government indicated that it has backed off from its threats to end the partnership at ISS quickly.

First, Roscosmos’s head, Dmitry Rogozin, announced that it will proceed with its barter deal with NASA and allow astronauts from NASA and others to fly on Soyuz while Russian astronauts fly on Dragon and eventually Starliner.

“Why give up something that is useful? Anna Kikina [Russian woman cosmonaut] flew to Houston (USA) to familiarize herself with the design of the modules of the ISS American segment and the Crew Dragon spacecraft whose crew she may join. On our part, we are not ruining anything and keep to preliminary accords, although we continue waiting for the government’s decision on the program of cross flights,” Rogozin explained.

Second, Rogozin made statements that suggested Russia will maintain its full partnership on ISS through ’24, and maybe beyond.

Now Russia has to set up its mind about the year until which it cooperates on the ISS project, Rogozin said. “Yes, the Americans want it [cooperation] to last until 2030. The previous talks said that it would be until 2028. But let me repeat again that we have to decide on the main thing: to continue cooperation on the ISS or switch to the ROSS [Russian Orbital Service Station]. Subsequently, we will decide on what to do with our two new modules on the ISS that we docked last year,” Rogozin said.

In other words, Russia ain’t going no where. It might decide eventually to launch a new core module for their own station, and then transfer the newer modules on ISS to it, but none of this will happen until a final date for ISS’s deorbit is established.

Based on Rogozin’s earlier bombastic threats, I had expected Russia to take a harder position. It appears cooler heads in Roscosmos convinced Rogozin and Putin that in terms of cost and safety, a quick exit made no sense.

This decision to back off was also probably influenced by Russia’s losses in the Ukraine. It is no longer in a strong negotiating position in anything, has lost almost all its economic partnerships with the west, and thus does not wish to lose the one partnership that remains, on ISS.

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  • Shallow Minded Reader

    quote Russia’s losses in the Ukraine.
    Not so sure about that. the people who are telling you about Ukraine are the same ones that told you the Vaxx was safe and effective and the 2020 Election was the most secure ever.

    You must have misplaced your skeptic hat.

  • Shallow Minded Reader: I am always skeptical of anything I read, everywhere. (I even question my own writing on a regular basis.)

    However, all evidence so far shows the Russians in retreat in the Ukraine. This may change, but until I see some sign otherwise, I will take the present evidence at face value.

    Recognizing always that things can change.

  • Jay

    I think the Chinese turned him down. Rogozin doesn’t have a date for the prom. I bet the existing contracts with ISS are the only income for Roscosmos.

  • LocalFulff

    For sure, the Russians haven’t imposed any sanctions on anyone. The prices you see in the shops and at the gas stations, are Biden prices, not Putin prices. The USD/RUB is since some weeks ago at par again as it were before the invasion. So the sanctions worked out alright, did they? Russian gas is still pumped to Germany through pipelines right through war zones in Ukraine, so everyone are in on the sanctions? Are they?

    I have some links to think about:
    This is an unconfirmed rumor, that NATO’s number two NATO general was captured in Mariupol in Ukraine. Mr. LANDCOM, Cloutier himself, the highest in command of ALL of NATO land troops. The only one above him is the general that also command air and navy troops. The biggest fish ever captured in any war since sometime long before Napoleon, if it’s true. I wonder if he has something to tell about NATO’s capabilities, weaknesses and plans? Since he is an illegal foreign fighter, the Gènèva convention doesn’t apply, he is not a POW, so the Russians can legally shoot him whenever they want. Or “apply pressure” to make him talk. And then put him in a cage in Moscow Zoo with a sign warning the visitors: “Don’t feed the American general! McDonalds has been boycotted.” TASS reported it an said that it was but a rumor. But here is a video of what is allegedly him being arrested by Russian military police. And he hasn’t been seen in media for a while, has he? I’ll think we’ll hear more about this.

    And as all those colonels and military advisors have predicted, here is the first Ukrainian victory parade! At the same time they are showing off their new air defense. Hands up! Catch the bombs before they hit the ground. Because the air defense that they started out with before Europe’s BY FAR largest military power started out with before the invasion, has been bombed away! From the air… That was not the plan.

    Since then several other entire battalions have surrendered. Well, entire and entire. A battalion these days is between 400 and 1,200 men. The two surrendered battalions that I have found figures on, were 270 and 170. So the rest few hundreds were either on vacation on the ISS. Or for some reason otherwise not available at the time…

    And then we have this. A group of not so professional Ukrainian soldiers chit-chatting with each other completely disorganized in a group. While waiting for a tank of their own down the road. Or so they thought! Close combat. And brief!

    “Ukraine is winning the war!”
    Hahahaa. I’ve laughed at it since March 1st. I’m the singular military genius in the Western hemisphere.

  • Shallow Minded Reader

    Putin stated several goals
    1. securing Donbass/Luhansk
    2. de-nazification of Ukraine
    3. Agreement of Ukraine not to join Nato and EU and be neutral.
    4. Ukraine agree to Russians annexation of Crimea.
    5. Destruction of Victoria Nuland’s Bio Weapons Labs on the border.

    AFAIK, all the other stuff is the blather of Western Neocon Talking heads. Skeptic analysts such as Larry Johnson and Scott Ritter have pointed out the Russia went to the suburbs of Kiev to draw away and split up the AFU, not conquer Kiev. If you look at the above list, they’re doing well but losing, not so much.

    Unfortunately, the Azov Nazi’s keep shooting Ukranian politions that want to negotiate peace.

  • sippin_bourbon

    I think on a previous thread related to this subject, I suggested that Russia may be ready to partner with China, but China may not be ready to partner with Russia. China would have to be willing to except the burden to carry them.

    As Jay suggests, China told them no thank you.

    Also, while China may be okay with the Ukraine crisis internally, they may not prepared to announce an open partnership with Russia at this particular juncture.

    Either way, the cat is out of the bag for Rogozin.
    His rants last week may have lit a fire under the participants and partners of Commercial LEO programs.
    Russia, regardless of what they say today, cannot be counted on as a long term partner.

  • LocalFulff

    @sippin_bourbon Wow! What a fantasy you’ve got! It is as if you are still living in the 1990s. Xi Jinping himself recently said that China’s relation with Russia is “better than an alliance”. China is the world’s by far greatest industrial leader, as Russia is the by far greatest raw materials and weaponry producer. It’s a perfect partnership. Putin, who once worked as a lawyer in East Germany, has always seeked good relations with Germany as an alternative to China. But now that the knucklehead Olaf Scholz is a Pentagon slave, he has permanently turned his back to the completely isolated and ever more irrelevant Westerns world.

    The Western feminist socialist climate fascists don’t want to have any industry. That’s why they are so poor, indebted, defenseless and dependent today. That’s why the entire world is intensely despising everything that relates to the Western world. Like their politically indoctrinating media “culture” and “family values” and socialist financial system. It is today the West that is Marxist and Russia that is a true liberal democracy with conservative values. How did the first cold war between a Marxists and conservative block work out? I know where I bet my money.

  • Jeff Wright

    The Ruble bounced back a bit?

  • sippin_bourbon

    I was referring specifically to a partnership in space.
    Rogozin wants a joint Chinese/Russian space station.

    It was not a commentary on other business and trade relationships with China.

    And as for the rest of your rant, now you are the one with a fantasy. “Russia a true liberal democracy with conservative values?
    Um no.
    Russia has never been a democracy. And it probably never will be. There has been no time in their history where the Russian people did not follow a Tsar, a strong-man/Boss, or a tyrant.

  • Col Beausabre

    Local Fluff, You’ll enjoy this video

  • sippin_bourbon

    Not sure if the website NASAWATCH is credible. I know Spaceref links it.

    They have a story saying that China is backing out of partnership on Science projects.
    The actual source appears to be Tass new agency, out of Russia.
    I never knew Tass to be 100% credible, but it seems interesting that they stating that China is back out of partnerships with the Russian Academy of Science.

    I am not sure how much the academy plays a role in their program for the joint lunar programs they had previously discussed.

  • Jay

    I quit going to the Nasawatch website years ago. He use to show what goes on inside of NASA but is really left-wing with his rants. He is always featured on CCTV (CGTN here in the U.S.) whenever the Chinese want American feedback on their space accomplishments.

    Honestly I don’t think the Chinese need the Russians anymore. They already bought and copied all their designs. The only heavy lift rocket the Russians have is the Proton and the Chinese have already built their own – the Long March 5. What could Russia offer them?

  • sippin_bourbon


    Thanks for the feedback. The originating source is Tass, if that matters.

    And I agree. China does not need them right now.

  • sippin_bourbon: Jay is correct about Nasawatch and Cowing. He threatened me when I sent him a link to one of my essays he didn’t like. Note too that Nasawatch and Spaceref are both written by Cowing.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Mr Z. Thanks for the heads up.
    I see you picked up the story.

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