Canadian Space Agency keeping ties with Russia for now

This NASA photo obtained June 18, 2013 shows a view of Earth as seen from the Cupola on the...

This NASA photo obtained June 18, 2013 shows a view of Earth as seen from the Cupola on the Earth-facing side of the International Space Station. (NASA/HO)

Harrison Ruess, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:58 PM ET

NASA may have cut ties with Russia's space agency over the country's interference in Ukraine, but the Canadian Space Agency isn't following suit just yet.

"While the government views the current situation in the Ukraine with great concern, the Canadian Space Agency will continue to work with its Russian counterpart to ensure the safe and effective operation of the International Space Station," the agency wrote in a statement Friday.

On Wednesday, NASA was added to the list of U.S government agencies prohibited from contacting Russian government representatives, though operation of the International Space Station is exempt from the ban.

"This suspension includes NASA travel to Russia and visits by Russian government representatives to NASA facilities, bilateral meetings, e-mail, and teleconferences or video conferences. At the present time, only operational International Space Station activities have been excepted," NASA associate administrator Michael O'Brien wrote in a memo to employees that was posted on the NASAWatch.com website.

The gesture is believed to be largely symbolic. The only major space project under direct U.S.-Russia control is the space station, a $100-billion research laboratory, owned by 15 nations.

In an earlier interview, retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield said space agencies often have to work together through disputes, small and large.

"It would be great if everybody was always together on everything, but we surely aren't," he said in an interview with QMI Agency on March 21. "This isn't the only area of dispute between nations. Canada and the U.S. have areas that we dispute all the time, and yet we co-operate on most things."

 


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