ReutersSep 23, 2018 15:31:11 IST
Russia agreed last year to work with the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on plans for the moon-orbiting Deep Space Gateway, which will serve as a staging post for future missions.
But the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, said Russia might exit the joint program and instead propose its own lunar orbit space station project.
“The Russian Federation cannot afford to play the second fiddle role in it,” he was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency, without much further elaboration.
A spokesman for Roscosmos said later that Russia had no immediate plans to leave the project.
“Russia has not refused to take part in the project of the lunar orbit station with the USA,” Vladimir Ustimenko was quoted as saying by the TASS news agency.
Relations between Moscow and Washington have soured since 2014 after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine and was accused of meddling in the US 2016 presidential election.