Space director says cooperation is only possible when the West’s sanctions are lifted.

Dmitry Rogozin, head of Roscosmos, said in a social media statement that the West is trying to “kill Russian economy and plunge our people into despair and hunger, to get our country on its knees”.

Therefore, he said, cooperation between the US and Russia at the International Space Station (ISS) and other related projects can not continue.

Rogozin will submit a proposal to end cooperation with the space agencies of the US, Canada, European Union, and Japan as soon as possible.

The ISS can not function properly without both the US and Russia participating.

Last week, NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and two Russian cosmonauts retuned to Earth using a Russia Soyuz spacecraft.

Shortly before the landing, Rogozin threatened with Russia’s ability to shut down or detach the primary engines the keep the ISS in orbit. He said Russia would not intervene if the station began falling back to Earth in an uncontrolled deorbit.

Currently aboard the ISS is a crew of seven led by NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn. The crew includes three Russians.

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