US: The Russian space agencies are examining possible joint missions following the 2024 decommissioning of the International Space Station with the European Union, said Jan Woerner, Director-General of the European Space Agency.
"We are discussing also about future exploration subjects after the International Space Station. We are really in a discussion phase. Nothing concrete right now," Woerner said on Tuesday on the sidelines of a Space Symposium in the US state of Colorado.
The missions will be conducted by the joint efforts of Russia, European Union and the United States. The three space agencies have decided to extend the life of the International Space Station to 2024.
Woerner said talks with Russia about the future will have to wait until after the symposium because Russian Federal Space Agency chief Igor Komarov did not attend the event. "I'm meeting Igor quite frequently, so I will have further discussions with him very soon," Woerner noted.
Earlier on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with astronauts on the International Space Station by video link, to mark the April 1961 flight of Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space.
As far as imposing sanctions on Russian space programs are concerned, Italian Space Agency (ASI) President Roberto Battiston said any attempt to extend economic sanctions against Russia to the field of space cooperation between Moscow Russian and European space organizations would be a disaster.