Russia to Keep Working With Astronauts From US, Europe, Japan

MOSCOW, April 18 (RIA Novosti) – Russian cosmonauts will continue to work with their colleagues from the US, Europe and Japan, despite a number of recent NASA statements about curtailing space cooperation, the head of the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center said.

“I have been flying with these guys, with the Americans and the Europeans, my friends have been flying as well,” Yuri Lonchakov, a former cosmonaut, said in an interview with the Russia-24 TV channel.

“I can say for sure that we have always worked together for the good of Earth and will keep on working in the future. So these recent statements are wrong. Our colleagues in the US, Europe, Canada and Japan have also confirmed their readiness to continue joint projects,” he said.

Lonchakov was appointed head of the cosmonaut training center earlier this month.

He earlier told RIA Novosti that he had accepted the offer by Roscosmos to focus on creating a new organization for the strategic development of Russian manned spaceflight, which would be established on the basis of the Central Research Institute of Machine Building, Roscosmos’ leading spacecraft scientific center.

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