Russian Ambassador to EIR: Asteroids Are a Major Concern for Russia
October 24, 2013 • 2:19PM

Speaking at an event on U.S.-Russian relations, Sergei Kislyak, the Russian Ambassador to the United States, was asked by EIR about the possibility of a joint U.S.-Russian project for protecting Earth from asteroids. Kislyak was speaking at a forum together with Ambassador Thomas Pickering. EIR's Bill Jones noted that the head of Roskosmos, the day before, had indicated that discussions would be launched between Roskosmos and the Russian Academy of Sciences on the topic, and that Russian Deputy Premier Rogovin had previously called for U.S. cooperation for a "Strategic Defense of Earth."

Kislyak noted that the two countries had long had close cooperation in space. "The cosmonauts who go to Johnson Space Center to train see themselves as a part of an international brotherhood in space," Kislyak said. "The two programs are fully coordinated. When there were problems in the Shuttle program, we could immediately shift to using the Russian Soyuz. The level of coordination is unprecedented. It is a sign of normalcy in this relationship. It's not only yesterday that we have taken note of the asteroid problem. It has been of concern to us for some time. Dealing with it will be of immense benefit."

Pickering didn't respond to the question, although Ambassador to Ukraine Steve Pifer, who was also on the dais, merely commented that "Space has become so expensive that we have to cooperate."