MOSCOW, August 7 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will decide on the future of the Sea Launch project, which uses Russian-Ukrainian Zenit-SL rockets to put commercial cargo into orbit, by the end of the year, the head of Russia’s United Rocket and Space Corporation Igor Komarov said Thursday.
“The unique Sea Launch project faces serious risks as certain parts of Zenit carrier rockets are produced in Ukraine and the floating platform and command ship are based in the United States. The new leadership of the Energia United Rocket and Space Corporation has been tasked with preparing proposals for this project,” Komarov said.
The risks to the project are linked to tensions between Russia and Ukraine, as well as the United States. Relations between the countries have become strained due to the crisis in Ukraine and US sanctions against Russia.
The United States and the European Union have imposed sanctions against a number of Russian officials and companies over the Ukrainian crisis. Last week, the European Union introduced third-stage sanctions targeting the financial, energy and defense sectors of the Russian economy.
Moscow has repeatedly called the measures counterproductive and stressed that Russia was never involved in the Ukrainian conflict. On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order on economic measures to protect the country’s security. The decree banned imports of agricultural and food products from countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia for a year.
The banned products include meat, poultry, fish, seafood, milk, dairy products, fruits and vegetables from Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United States and Norway. The embargo does not include baby food and other products for babies.