Roskosmos and Rosatom will suspend cooperation with the West

The ban will affect new contracts, which the government did not recommend.
The government instructed state corporations Roskosmos and Rosatom to introduce a temporary ban on signing legally binding documents with foreign companies, whose countries imposed sanctions against Russia. Despite the strict formulation, the innovation will not affect previously concluded contracts and agreements in the space sphere, but will block the US access to the technology of creating the gateway modules that the Americans planned to receive as part of the creation of the international near-moon station Deep Space. For Rosatom, the potential ban on new contracts with the US or EU countries can be very sensitive.

On the assignment signed by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin at the beginning of last week, Kommersant was told by a source in the government apparatus, as well as two top managers of enterprises of one of the state corporations. According to them, the document introduces a temporary ban on signing any legally binding documents with foreign structures whose leadership has introduced or supported sanctions against Russia. Documents will be possible to issue "only in case of a political decision," one of the interlocutors specified. According to another federal official, the order does not apply to already existing contracts or agreements (that is, they will not be broken or revised), but will complicate the conclusion of new contracts: "But such a step will strengthen government control." At the same time, the level of international contacts with such countries can be reduced, the interlocutor of "Kommersant" continues: it is enough to send mid-level managers to an event that will only indicate the representation of Russia. In "Roskosmos", "Rosatom" and the apparatus of the vice-premier, from the comments "b" abstained.

According to industry sources, "Kommersant", the commission was the result of "US confrontational policy." But even in spite of a number of bans on, for example, deliveries of the electronic component base (Space and Military class), the space industry is one of the examples of successful international cooperation under sanctions: with the United States and its allies in Europe, Russia still has important joint projects. So, Russia delivers American astronauts on board the ISS, receiving a tangible profit (for sending 36 Americans to space in 2012-2017, NASA paid Roskosmos a total of $ 2.276 billion). Russia also benefits from the supply of RD-180/181 liquid-propellant rocket engines produced by the Enikomash chemical factory in Khimki, which are installed on Atlas and Antares missiles: contracts are scheduled until 2019 (their value is over $ 1 billion). No less important are supplies of Soyuz-ST launch vehicles for launching satellites from the Kourou cosmodrome (French Guiana).

All these agreements and agreements can be broken - this possibility is described in the draft law on counter-sentences, which the State Duma is going to consider on May 15 (they were reported by Kommersant on April 14). Yesterday Dmitry Rogozin in an interview with the RBC TV channel said that "we always need to weigh the pros and cons": "We must understand where the pure policy, which can even lead to shooting yourself in the foot, and where in fact economic pragmatism." The assignment of Mr. Rogozin to this bill is not connected, says a Kommersant source in the government apparatus: "Deputies are considering a whole range of possible measures, but the assignment is rather targeted."

The interlocutor of Kommersant explained that this is one of the contracts within the Deep Space Gateway project, which Roskosmos and Boeing intend to sign at a meeting of heads of space agencies in the American Colorado Springs. In addition to discussing the configuration of the future station, space officials had to decide on "zones of responsibility": thus, Russia was ready to participate in the creation of the lock and habitable modules, as well as life support systems. "But the Americans were interested not only in the possibility of unifying the airlock module, but they also wanted to get all the technical achievements of the Russian side in their hands, offering about $ 15 million for this," Kommersant's interlocutor continues. "Following the consultations in the government, it was decided not to allow" for reasons of technological safety "". According to "Kommersant", in the near future there will be a meeting of the export commission, at which the decision to ban the transfer of these technologies to the US will be formalized.

There are no definite data about the fact that the instruction of the government will affect the contracts or contacts of Rosatom, "Kommersant" does not (the sources of Kommersant did not confirm receipt by the state corporation of any instructions to this effect). Nevertheless, the potential ban on new contracts with the US or EU countries may prove to be very sensitive for Rosatom. So, the US critically depends on Russian supplies of uranium enrichment services for nuclear power plants (there are no US own capacities). According to expert estimates, the United States imports up to 95% of the required uranium, and about half of this amount can come from Russia and Kazakhstan. The refusal of new contracts will not affect these deliveries, but in the long term US consumers will have to replace Rosatom with other suppliers. In the natural uranium market, this substitution is possible (the supply traditionally exceeds demand), and the state corporation risks gradually losing this market. In the case of the EU, the key large contracts for the construction of the Rosatom nuclear power plant have already been signed (the Finnish project "Khankhikivi-1" and the Hungarian "Paksh-2"), but recently Rosatom has focused on the service market for nuclear power plants in Central Europe.