Roscosmos chief says US visit cancelled because ‘second American civil war’ underway

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MOSCOW, January 10. /TASS/. Head of Russia’s Roscosmos State Space Corporation Dmitry Rogozin has said his visit to the United States at NASA’s invitation has been cancelled because the “second American civil war” is underway.

“I think that America is actually engulfed by its second civil war now,” Rogozin said in an interview with Rossiya-24 TV channel, commenting on the reasons behind his visit’s cancellation.

According to Rogozin, NASA has fallen victim to a domestic struggle in the country and the entire situation with the sanctions lists is “an outrage.” “This is complete international lawlessness and I absolutely don’t care about those motives which guided people in the Obama administration or the current Senate,” the Roscosmos chief stressed.

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration earlier released a statement saying that it had informed the Russian side that it was delaying a planned visit to the US by Rogozin. NASA also said no new date of the visit was set.

NASA Press Secretary Megan Powers said the agency was continuing preparations for Rogozin’s visit to the US despite criticism in Washington. Earlier some US officials and legislators had voiced criticism over the planned visit by the Roscosmos chief to the US.

In October, NASA Director Jim Bridenstine told TASS that he would like Rogozin to come to speak at the Rice University (in Houston, Texas – TASS) during his visit to the US. The Donald Trump Administration made a decision to pause sanctions against the Roscosmos chief in order to let him visit the United States at NASA’s invitation, he noted. Rogozin has been under US sanctions since 2014 in connection with the situation in Ukraine.