Russia has said it will withdraw of Russia from the International Space Station (ISS) after 2024 to focus on building its own orbital outpost. Yuri Borisov, who was appointed to head the Roscosmos state space corporation earlier this month, said during a meeting with President Vladimir Putin that Russia would fulfill its obligations to other partners before abandoning the project.
Borisov said that “a decision has been made to leave the station after 2024.” However, the US says such a move has not been communicated to NASA. It comes amid ongoing tensions between Moscow and the West over the war withdraw of Russia in Ukraine. In April, Borisov’s predecessor, Dmitry Rogozin, said that Russia would stop cooperation on the ISS in response to sanctions imposed on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.
He argued that the sanctions were designed “to kill the Russian economy, plunge our people into despair and hunger, and bring our country to its knees” and said that normal relations could only be restored with the unconditional lifting of the “illegal” measures.
Despite rising tensions, NASA and Roscosmos agreed earlier this month that astronauts would continue to travel on Russian rockets and cosmonauts would take elevators to the ISS with SpaceX beginning in the fall.
The deal will ensure the space station always has at least one American and one Russian aboard so both sides of the orbital outpost will function smoothly, Russian and NASA officials said. Earlier this year, NASA published plans for the ISS that could see the 444,615kg structure fly out of orbit in January 2031 and crash into a “spacecraft graveyard”. He said the lab would continue to operate withdraw of Russia until 2030, but its long-term future is unsustainable.