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YEKATERINBURG, January 13. /TASS/. Russian scientists are planning to cooperate with the NASA newly-established Planetary Defence Coordination Office (PDCO), the head of the Astronomy Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), Boris Shustov, told TASS on Wednesday.
"It is crucial for the international community to work together in tackling the threats from space, which are inherently global," Shustov said. "We are planning to cooperate with specialists of the U.S. office on different issues."
Also, Shustov has said that the international scientific community is engaged in a number of asteroid protection programmes.
"Russian scientists participate in the International Asteroid Warning Network that detects near-Earth objects and with the Space Mission Planning Advisory Group (SMPAG)," he said.
In Russia the RAS Space Council’s Expert Working Group on Space Threats Problem had been coordinating research in this sphere, he said.
"The group has come forward with a draft programme on creation of a domestic system that would protect us from space threats," Shustov went on to say. "The main organisational point is to set up a system like those in the United States and the European Council within the format of Roskosmos (the Russian Federal Space Agency - eds. TASS) and/or the Emergencies Ministry. The project has been approved at departments and agencies but there has not been seen its promotion yet."
Earlier reports said that a separate office named the Planetary Defense Coordination Office was established within NASA to look for asteroids and comets that pass near Earth’s orbit posing a threat to the planet.