New Cooperation and Partnership Agreement between ESA and the Russian Federation

February 12, 2003

Paris, 11 Feb 2003

Today at ESA Headquarters the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Mr Igor Sergeevich Ivanov, and the Director General of the European Space Agency, Mr Antonio Rodotà, signed the Agreement between ESA and the Government of the Russian Federation on Cooperation and Partnership in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes.

This Agreement succeeds the Agreement concluded in 1990 between ESA and the Government of the USSR and reflects the geopolitical developments that have taken place over the past decade, setting the scene for enhanced cooperation and genuine partnership between ESA and Russia.

The Russian Government has designated the Russian Aviation and Space Agency, Rosaviakosmos, as the organisation competent for implementation of the Agreement.

ESA and Rosaviakosmos are already engaged in fruitful cooperation in a variety of fields, such as human spaceflight, microgravity research, Earth observation, satellite navigation and space science. The Agreement signed today will open new opportunities for cooperation in areas such as launchers, with emphasis on future launcher technologies and operation of the Russian Soyuz vehicle from Kourou (French Guiana), and robotic and human planetary exploration.

"This cooperation is a tangible building block for a strategic partnership between Europe and Russia", said Mr Rodotà at the signing ceremony, "we are ready to continue and reinforce our long-standing cooperation with Russia for the benefit of both parties".

For further information, please contact:

ESA Media Relations Service
Tel.: + 33(0)1.53.69.7155
Fax: +33(0)1.53.69.7690

European Space Agency
http://www.esa.int/export/esaCP/index.ht ml

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