Enlarge / Russian workers assemble a Soyuz rocket for the launch of satellites for the European Space Agency in December 2021. (credit: European Space Agency)
Russia has decided to suspend cooperation with European launch officials, and says it will withdraw its personnel from Europe’s main spaceport.
The chief of Russia’s main space corporation, Dmitry Rogozin, announced the decision on Twitter Saturday morning, saying his country was responding to sanctions placed on Russia by the European Union. Europe, the United States, and other nations around the world issued significant sanctions on Russia this week after the country’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
Approximately two dozen Russian technicians and engineers work at Russian facilities in French Guiana. This spaceport, called the Guiana Space Center, is where Europe launches its fleet of orbital rockets, including a “Europeanized” version of the Russian Soyuz vehicle for medium-lift missions. The Russians had been working to prepare a Soyuz