MOSCOW, April 25 (RIA Novosti) – Canada will have to pay – both in terms of money and reputation – for a decision to ditch the launch of its satellite by a Russian rocket, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Friday.
Commenting on the Canadian media reports that the government’s hard line on sanctions against Russia has scuttled the launch of what was described to be a “key Canadian military satellite,” Rogozin wrote in his Twitter that Canada will “certainly” have to pay the forfeit.
In addition, the Canadian government exposed the true military purpose of its satellite, claimed to be a civilian one, he said.
“The Canadians screwed things up. They refused to launch the satellite and admitted that it was a military one, despite earlier assurances of its civilian purpose,” Rogozin said.
The M3MSat was to be launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on June 19. The spacecraft is intended for sea surveillance and was to operate jointly with the RADARSAT-2 orbiter.
Canadian media said the government was currently looking for another state or private space contractor to carry out the launch.
Canada was among the first to join targeted sanctions, including asset freezes and visa bans, imposed on a number of senior Russian officials and businessmen whom the West accuses of involvement in Crimea's reunification with Russia.
A number of Western officials have since been calling for even tougher sanctions on Russia, including against key sectors of its economy – such as space, defense and energy.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper earlier said that Ottawa could impose sanctions targeting Russian banks.
On Tuesday, Moscow expelled the first secretary of the Canadian embassy in Moscow in response to the recent expulsion of a staff member of the Russian embassy in Ottawa, a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry told RIA Novosti.