MOSCOW, April 3 (RIA Novosti) - Washington's decision to freeze cooperation between the NASA space agency and its Russian counterpart on a slew of joint projects will hurt global space partnership but won't be the end of the Russian space program, Director of the Space Policy Institute Ivan Moiseyev told RIA Novosti Thursday.
NASA issued a statement saying it put most of its joint missions with Russia on hold indefinitely. The only exception is the "operational International Space Station activities," the agency's associate administrator Michael O'Brien said in a memo.
"The statement was way too harsh," Ivan Moiseyev told RIA Novosti. He warned NASA that its move would have a "rather significant" impact on space exploration projects globally.
"Modern space science is a global phenomenon that benefits all countries," Moiseyev noted. "It means that many large-scale projects require an international effort. A freeze on cooperation will spur a serious backlash against the international space program."
The space pundit added that, despite being something that Russia would never want for space science, this freeze was unlikely to have any catastrophic repercussions for its industry. Russia will simply have to adjust its projects to the new reality, he explained.
Russia's senior space official said earlier in an interview with RIA Novosti that Russia didn't depend much on the United States, as far as space industry goes.
This comes as the United States, European Union and their allies continue to ratchet up diplomatic pressure on Russia following its re-unification with the Russian-majority Crimea peninsula, which was taken over by Ukraine after the Soviet fall.
Measures include sanctions against Russian and Crimean officials and businesses, who had their foreign assets seized.
In a recent development, NATO member states suspended cooperation with Moscow allegedly until Russia changed its stand on the Ukrainian crisis, prompting the Russian Foreign Office to accuse the allies of trying to manhandle the country into accepting their viewpoint.