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Putin Emphasizes Importance of U.S.-Russian Space Cooperation in NBC Interview

Putin Emphasizes Importance of U.S.-Russian Space Cooperation in NBC Interview

In the course of his lengthy interview with NBC journalist Keir Simmons, aired two days before the Putin-Biden summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin identified for the American people a couple of areas in which both countries could cooperate, and explained how. The interview had some 750,000 views as of the afternoon of the summit.

Putin considers space one such major area of cooperation. He flatly rejected Simmons’s suggestion that Russia is preparing to stop cooperation with NASA on space, in favor of work with China, and dismissed Simmon’s reference to an earlier statement by the head of Russia’s space program, Dmitry Rogozin, that Russia would cut off cooperation with NASA if sanctions against Roscosmos companies were not lifted.

“We are prepared to work with the US in space. I think recently the head of NASA said that he could not imagine development of space programs without its partnership with Russia. We welcome this statement and we value it…. The cooperation between our two countries in space is a great example of a situation where, despite any kind of problems in political relationships in recent years, it’s an area where we have been able to maintain and preserve the partnership and both parties cherish it,” Putin responded.

Asserting that he knows Rogozin supports expanding the relationship with the US in space, Putin told Simmons “I think you just misunderstood what the head of the Russian space program said.”

“We are interested in continuing to work with the US in this direction, and we will continue to do so if our US partners don’t refuse to do that. It doesn’t mean that we need to work exclusively with the US. We have been working and will continue to work with China, which applies to all kinds of programs, including exploring deep space…. Frankly, I don’t see any contradictions here. I don’t think there is any mutual exclusivity here.”

Space science and exploration, recent breakthroughs in controlled thermonuclear fusion are the science drivers for a growing and prosperous human race. Man is surely a galactic species, and the realization of that idea has profound implications for everything from education and healthcare, to the potential for new Beethovens and Mozarts. That issue of scientific and artistic creativity will be central to the upcoming Schiller Institute/ICLC conference.

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International Schiller Institute/ICLC online conference, June 26/ 27, 2021

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