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Russian-Chinese cooperation on lunar station is not aimed against the West - space chief

The plans of Russia and China on the Moon are open to broad international participation, Head of Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin noted

MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. The plans of Russia and China on cooperating to create a lunar research station are not aimed against the West and both countries are open to participation of other states, Head of Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin said.

"This is not so. The plans of Russia and China on the Moon are open to broad international participation. The idea is not about confrontation but is about cooperation in the lunar exploration," Rogozin said on his Telegram channel in comment on The Washington Post report claiming that the plans on building a lunar research station were a sign that Moscow and Beijing were creating "a de facto alliance against the West."

On March 9, Roscosmos Chief Rogozin and China National Space Administration (CNSA) Director Zhang Keijan signed via a video conference a memorandum of mutual understanding on behalf of their governments on cooperation in creating an international lunar research station.

China and Russia plan to use joint experience and scientific technologies to create a roadmap for building an international research station on the Moon. Both countries’ cooperation in this field stipulates the study of the lunar surface and the implementation of joint projects in the orbit of the Earth’s natural satellite.

In November 2017, Roscosmos and CNSA signed a space cooperation program for 2018-2022. It comprises six sections: the study of the Moon and deep space, space science and related technologies, satellites and their use, the components base and materials, cooperation in the data of Earth’s remote sensing and other issues. Working sub-groups were set up to implement projects under this program.

In July 2020, Roscosmos Chief Rogozin announced that he had discussed cooperation in outer space with his Chinese partners, including the lunar research base. He mentioned an agreement reached between the parties to start taking steps towards each other on defining the contours and the significance of the lunar research base.

The Roscosmos chief said at a roundtable discussion in the Federation Council (upper house) in December 2020 that in June the Chinese side had proposed involving Europe in cooperation in the Moon’s exploration. Roscosmos Deputy Head for International Cooperation Sergei Savelyev told TASS in early February that the Russian state space corporation was in talks with Chinese partners to discuss possible scientific tasks for the lunar base and was working on the project’s technical implementation.