Amid the wave of criticism, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has rescinded an invitation to Dmitry Rogozin, Head of Roscosmos, Russia’s State Corporation for Space Activities.
Earlier, Mr Bridenstine expressed hope for improving relations with the top official and the space agency in general.
“We heard from numerous senators suggesting that this was not a good idea. And I wanted to be accommodating to the interests of the senators, and so I have rescinded the invitation,” he told The Washington Post.
According to a number of senators, the United States should not play host to Rogozin who was put on the 2014 sanctions list in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea. His arrival could ‘ease the pressure on Russia and harm the national interests of the country’, they believe.
On January 5, it became known that NASA gave Rogozin a without-day rain check on visiting the United States. At first, the US agency failed to go into detail.
In turn, Roscosmos claimed they had not received any official notice from NASA. The Russian side stressed that the preparations for negotiating had not yet been suspended.