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Russia To Leave ISS As Space Shakeup Continues

Russia says it will quit the International Space Station (ISS) after 2024 to focus on building its own project in outer space at a time of heightened tensions between the Kremlin and the West over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 26, Yuri Borisov, who Putin appointed earlier this month to head Roscosmos, said Moscow will fulfill all of its obligations at the ISS before leaving.

"The decision to leave the station after 2024 has been made," Borisov said.

The announcement comes a week after the U.S. space agency NASA and its Russian counterpart, Roscosmos, agreed on exchange flights to the ISS on Elon Musk's SpaceX rockets for cosmonauts, while U.S. astronauts will be able to fly to Russia's Soyuz.

Just after that deal was signed, Putin sacked Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin in favor of Borisov, who was recently dismissed as deputy prime minister.

"We will continue the piloted program in compliance with the plans already approved," Borisov said.

"The main focus going forward will be on creating a Russian orbital station," he added, noting Roscosmos would also make scientific space research a priority.

By RFE/RL

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