Roskosmos suspends cooperation with European partners in organizing space launches from the Kourou cosmodrome in French Guiana and recalls personnel, the director general of the state corporation Roscosmos said.
“In response to EU sanctions against our enterprises, Roskosmos is suspending cooperation with European partners in organizing space launches from the Kourou cosmodrome and withdrawing its technical staff, including the consolidated launch crew, from French Guiana,” Rogozin wrote in his Telegram channel.
Earlier, Rogozin proposed upgrading the Soyuz launch complex in French Guiana to a manned level. According to him, such a move would allow European countries to save “billions of euros”, and the European astronautics would be able to “quickly enter the club of space powers with all the competencies in manned flights.”
“If European astronauts want to be able to get to the ISS on their own, then using the proven, most reliable Soyuz MS manned spacecraft with an equally reliable rocket of the Soyuz-2 family from the French cosmodrome in Kourou by the European launch crew trained by our specialists is I think it’s a great idea,” he said.
The Guiana Space Center is a European spaceport located near the city of Kourou in French Guiana. According to Roskosmos, its location near the equator provides a 15% advantage in payload compared to launches eastward from the American space center at Cape Canaveral and 40% from launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. In October 2021, Rogozin announced that Russia could transfer part of the rocket launches to the Kourou cosmodrome as part of the federal space program.
The leaders of the EU member states agreed to impose new sanctions against Russia after the start of a special operation in the Donbass. The restrictions will affect the financial sector, energy, transport, dual-use goods and visa policy.