Moscow is ready for a dialogue with Washington on space

Russian side remains open to dialogue with the United States on space exploration issues, but Washington has not shown such willingness. This was stated by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, commenting on reports of U.S. plans to adopt an international agreement on the extraction of resources on the Moon without Russia’s involvement.

“Of course, we have recorded the relevant reports. We perceive them as a reflection of the well-known line of the USA to assert its own superiority in space and to formulate such approaches to the tasks of space resources development, which, by and large, only serve the interests of the USA and its closest allies and adherents”.

According to Ryabkov, this approach reduces the chances of mutually beneficial settlement of problems associated with the exploration of space resources. But there are still opportunities to rectify the situation. “It is not too late to switch to the rails of joint analysis and joint solution of the relevant problems, especially since there are specialized international sites. They work under the auspices of the UN and are very well adapted for this purpose,” said the deputy minister, adding that Washington has not yet demonstrated its readiness for dialogue.

Earlier, Reuters reported with reference to its sources in the White House that the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump is preparing a draft international agreement on the extraction of minerals on the surface of the Moon. It is assumed that the U.S. partners will be some EU countries, Canada, Japan and the UAE. Washington plans to create bases with “security zones” on the satellite to exclude interference from competitors. Russia is not on the list of potential participants.

It should be noted that in 2015 the US passed a law on the ownership of companies over the resources they extract from outer space. However, there are no such laws in the international community. In addition, the US is a party to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which states that the Moon and other celestial bodies are “not subject to national development. However, President Trump has already demonstrated his ability to get out of agreements that are unfavorable for the US.