MOSCOW, June 1 /ITAR-TASS/. US GPS (Global Positioning System) ground stations located in Russia will continue to operate under existing agreements but their use for military purposes will be excluded, Russia’s Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said on Sunday.
“In compliance with the Russian government’s instruction, Roscosmos and the Federal Agency for Scientific Organizations implemented measures on June 1, 2014, which excluded the use of information from global seismographic network stations working on signals from the GPS system and located on the territory of the Russian Federation for purposes not stipulated by the existing agreements, including for military purposes,” Roscosmos said in a statement.
Russian Vice-Premier Dmitry Rogozin who oversees the country’s defense and industrial sector in the Russian government said on May 13 that Russia would suspend the operation of 11 GPS stations located in the Kaluga and Sverdlovsk regions; the Krasnoyarsk territory; Yakutia, Irkutsk, Magadan, Southern Sakhalin and the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in retaliation to the absence of progress in talks on the deployment of Russia’s GLONASS stations in the United States.
On May 26, Rogozin told journalists that the GPS stations which could stop their operation on June 1 were used to transmit seismic information to the US authorities. Later, he reiterated his warning that if the United States continued ignoring Russia’s proposal to deploy GLONASS on the US territory, Russia will stop the operation of these stations on June 1 and might start dismantling them from September 1.
Experts said that even if GPS stations were suspended in Russia, this was not going to affect the operation of civilian smart phones; navigators and other devices used by ordinary Russians.
GPS is a global satellite positioning system designed and operated by the US Department of Defense. The navigation signal can also be used for civilian purposes. More than a billion people around the globe reportedly use this system. The GPS satellite grouping has about 30 functioning spacecraft.