Despite sanctions, Russia has one thing the United States needs: rockets.
Even as tensions escalate in Ukraine, with the Obama Administration pressing for more stringent sanctions against Russian arms firms, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin promised Monday that sanctions would not stop his nation’s sale of the RD-180 boosters.
The rockets are imported from Russia’s state-controlled NPO Energomash OAO to the United States, according to the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS.
“We are not going to shoot ourselves in the leg,” said Rogzin. “They are organizing sanctions in such a way that they will boomerang on their head. But we will continue to do (with the US) what benefits us and we will suspend what does not. Presently, the sale of engines benefits our engine-making enterprises in that they use the money for their own modernization.”
Last month, a senior Russian politician threatened to pull the sale of rockets that Pentagon officials use to launch intelligence and military satellites. The Russians threatened the action because of tightening U.S. sanctions on Russia, the Wall Street Journal reported.
United Launch Alliance LLC, expects to receive two boosters in August, the news report stated.
In May, TheBlaze reported that the administration won an appeal to allow Lockheed Martin and Boeing to purchase the Russian rocket engines for the U.S. space program.
A firm known as SpaceX, a private space launch company, had filed suit in federal court claiming that Lockheed and Boeing’s purchase of the rockets violated the administration’s own executive order.
The lawsuit also alleged that the government kept the rocket company from bidding on the contract.
The court, which originally placed an injunction on the purchase of the rockets, sided with the administration in May. The court allowed the two defense companies to purchase the Russian RD-180 rocket engines used for launching of U.S. satellites into space.
Critics say the reliance on Russia’s rocket engines needs to end and some in the Pentagon are hoping to develop a U.S. rocket engines.
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