Roscosmos, the Russian space agency responsible for all space launches in Europe through the France Guina spaceport has halted it’s Soyuz rockets services amidst face off with EU countries and NATO as the Ukrainian crisis rages on.
The space agency said it resorted to the sanction as EU imposed “wide-ranging sanctions on Russia”.
“In response to EU sanctions against our enterprises, Roscosmos is suspending cooperation with European partners in organizing space launches from the Kourou cosmodrome and withdrawing its personnel, including the consolidated launch crew, from French Guiana,” head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, wrote in a tweet translated from Russian.
The European Space Agency (ESA) use Russian Soyuz rockets to launch scientific missions at the Guiana Space Centre program which has been operating since 2011.
The sanction means scheduled launches in April for the launch of Galileo navigation satellites and ESA’s EUCLID telescope is suspended for now.
Russia was recently handed extreme sanctions by EU, US Canada and other NATO allies with Russian banks targeted and taken off the SWIFT money system.
Before the SpaceX Crew program, the US owned NASA also relied on the Soyuz rockets for their space launches.