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Obama To Violate His Own Sanctions To Buy Russian Rocket Engines

Obama To Violate His Own Sanctions To Buy Russian Rocket Engines

MICHAEL WEISS, PIERRE VAUX | The Daily Beast

The close working relationship between NASA and the Russian space agency centered around the International Space Station (ISS) since the 1990s is now looking precarious as the United States faces a dilemma over sanctions enforcement.

At issue is whether the sale of Russian-made rocket engines for NASA launch vehicles violates U.S. sanctions imposed on two Russian officials for their role in Moscow’s invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014: Dmitry Rogozin, a deputy prime minister in charge of Russia’s defense industry known as the country’s “space czar,” and Sergei Chemezov, the head of Rostec, a vast state-owned defense and technology holding company.

Rogozin has explicitly referred to it as “free money” that will flow directly into Russia’s military-industrial complex—this, at a time when Russian-made weaponry and materiel are being used in an ongoing dirty war in Ukraine, and Russian warplanes continue to bomb CIA-backed rebels in Syria.

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