Russia announced its plans to withdraw from the International Space Station project “after 2024” in a readout that took place during a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Yuri Borisov, the newly appointed head of the country’s space program Roscosmos, CNN reports.
Borisov said that Russia will likely fulfill its obligations by that point and would then start plans “to form the Russian orbital station.”
“You know that we are working within the framework of international cooperation at the International Space Station. Undoubtedly, we will fulfill all our obligations to our partners, but the decision to leave the station after 2024 has been made,” Borisov told Putin in the readout issued by the Kremlin via CNN.
ISS has served as a model of international cooperation between Russia and the United States for decades, having launched in November 1998.
The Kremlin’s upcoming withdrawal comes amid its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which has strained relations with the U.S. and many European nations.
Putin announced his country would conduct military operations in Eastern Ukraine during an NBC News translation of a speech addressing the Russian population in Moscow on February 24.
The announcement appeared to serve as the final action ahead of an attack by Putin and the Russian military, which the U.S. and European allies to the neighboring Ukraine have attempted to prevent from taking place through diplomatic discussions.
A Ukraine interior minister confirmed to NBC News via text message that “cruise and ballistic missile strikes” were already underway shortly after Putin’s announcement.
NBC News correspondent Erin McLaughlin said explosions could be heard from her live shot in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital city, at 6:00 a.m. local time.
More than 1,000 protesters were reportedly arrested during anti-war protests throughout Russia amid President Putin’s announcement to conduct military operations and ensuing attack on Ukraine, BNO News reported.