Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said on Wednesday it wanted to require its international partners to pay in rubles, after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a similar measure for gas supplies to Europe.
“We will also conclude all our foreign agreements in rubles,” Roscosmos chief Dmitri Rogozin was quoted as saying by the official TASS news agency.
Earlier, Putin announced that Russia would demand payment in rubles for gas sold to “hostile countries”, including those in the European Union (EU).
The move is a response to the decision by Western countries to freeze Russian assets because of its offensive in Ukraine.
Last week, Rogozin claimed that Western sanctions against Moscow could bring down the International Space Station (ISS).
According to him, the operation of Russian rockets on the ISS will be hampered by the sanctions, which will have an impact on the Russian segment of the station, which mainly serves to correct orbit. Therefore, this could cause “the descent or landing of the ISS, which weighs 500 tons”.
Until recently, space cooperation between Russia and Western countries was one of the few areas that did not suffer greatly from the sanctions imposed on Moscow after the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014.