Russia Recalls Space Personnel As Cooperation Project Ends Suddenly

( )- Last week, Russia started bringing home scientists working on the European Space Agency’s launch site after cooperation with Europe ended. It comes as the world retaliates to Russia’s unprovoked aggression in Ukraine.

Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, announced that cooperation with Europe will end at the French Guiana spaceport. Russia chose to withdraw the launch and rocket specialists from the site in protest of the sanctions being levied against Moscow by European countries and the United States.

On his Telegram channel, Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos, said that all technical staff would be withdrawn.

He also tweeted on Wednesday that some 29 Russian personnel have already left the spaceport and returned to Moscow. The 56 remaining stuff at the spaceport will follow soon after.

On Saturday, the EU commissioner for space Thierry Breton said that the decision won’t have any impact on the current projects being run by the ESA, including the Galileo navigation system or the Copernicus Earth observation mission. It was a polite statement, but could easily be interpreted as “we didn’t need you, anyway.”

Breton said that the decision “has no consequences on the continuity and quality” of the projects and that the decision does not “put the continued development of these infrastructures at risk.”

If Russia’s only response to crippling sanctions is to withdraw some staff from the European Space Agency, then they’re probably going to have to come up with some other ideas…