Russia's space chief responds to new sanctions by suggesting that the ISS could crash into the US or Europe

The International Space Station on orbit of planet Earth.dima_zel/Getty Images
  • Russia's space chief claimed new US sanctions could have severe consequences for the ISS.

  • In a tweet, its director-general appeared to suggest the ISS could crash into the US or Europe.

  • "The ISS does not fly over Russia, so all the risks are yours. Are you ready for them?" he said.

The chief of Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, has claimed that new US sanctions could have dire consequences for the future of the International Space Station (ISS).

In a tweet Thursday, director-general Dmitry Rogozin warned that the sanctions could "destroy our cooperation on the ISS."

President Joe Biden recently announced a set of US-imposed penalties on Russia after its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. The sanctions target Russia's economy, military, financial system, and technological imports.

On Thursday, Biden said he was authorizing "additional strong sanctions" against Russia and "new limitations" on what could be exported to the country.

"We have purposely designed these sanctions to maximize the long-term impact on Russia and minimize the impact on the United States and our allies," Biden said.

According to CNN, Biden further stated that the sanctions "will degrade (Russia's) aerospace industry, including their space program."

In response, Rogozin said on Twitter: "If you block cooperation with us, who will save the ISS from an uncontrolled deorbit and fall into the United States or Europe?"

He added: "There is also the option of dropping a 500-ton structure to India and China. Do you want to threaten them with such a prospect? The ISS does not fly over Russia, so all the risks are yours. Are you ready for them?"

Rogozin also said that the ISS's location and orbit in space are controlled by "Russian Progress MS cargo ships."

NASA did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment made outside of normal working hours.

In a statement to Euronews, however, NASA said that it "continues working with Roscosmos and our other international partners in Canada, Europe, and Japan to maintain safe and continuous ISS operations."

It added: "The new export control measures will continue to allow US-Russia civil space cooperation."

There are four NASA astronauts, two Russian cosmonauts, and one European astronaut aboard the ISS.

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