MOSCOW, August 8 (RIA Novosti) - US companies producing space-qualified components could lose some of their global market share due to Washington’s sanctions, which prevent them from trading with Russia, the head of Russia’s United Rocket and Space Corporation (URSC), Igor Komarov, said.
“There’s growing discontent in Russia, as well as globally, with the fact that the overwhelming majority… of radiation-resistant components are produced in the United States. I think if they press ahead with these sanctions, their [market] share in 3-4 years will drop far below 50 percent,” Komarov said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel.
Long-term sanctions against Russia could also force the country’s space industry to rely less on imports and more on its own efforts.
“It’s likely that we will eventually get together and stop relying on our long-time partners in space exploration, such as the United States… and other countries that have already joined or are about to join the sanctions,” Komarov asserted.
The URSC head said Russia must learn to build key components and equipment on its own “to ensure our autonomy and independence.”
On Thursday, the URSC announced it was going to draw up an import substitution program for Russian space companies by the end of 2014.
The United States and European Union have been imposing targeted sanctions against sensitive sectors of Russia’s economy since its re-unification with Crimea’s in March.
Although imports of space technologies are exempt from the US-EU dual-use technology ban, Washington has been pushing for the NASA space agency to curb communications with its Russian counterpart, Roscosmos. The United States is now also seeking to put an end to US dependency on Russia for flights to the International Space Station.