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NASA revokes Russian space agency's invitation to visit the US after a backlash



"After receiving feedback from the Senate, we withdrew our invitation to Roscosmos CEO Dmitry Rogozin," said Megan Powers, NASA's spokesperson, to CNN on Friday.

Powers added, "Russia is a key NASA partner, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration."

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement on Saturday that he had heard from numerous senators that this was not the case, and I wanted to meet the interest of the senators. "

" However, we will continue our close cooperation with Russia when it comes to the International Space Station and send our astronauts into space, "he said.

The NASA administrator had invited Rogozin to the facilities next month The agency said the invitation to Rogozin had been co-ordinated with other federal agencies and the US Treasury agreed with the agency.

However, the trip was controversial because the Obama administration had imposed sanctions on Ro Gozin, a former vice prime minister in 201

4, banned him, "in response to the measures taken by the US." Russian government, which contributed to the crisis in Ukraine, "to travel to the US, said the White House, as it ve the sanctions rkündete.

Several US Senators had asked NASA to cancel the visit this week, and two leading Democrats threatened to withdraw the invitation with a Congressional intervention.

"Welcoming Mr. Rogozin in the United States and providing him with a platform to speak is an insult to our sanctions regime and will further undermine the Trump's limited credibility in Russia's politics," said the Supreme President of New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez The Democrat in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee wrote in a letter to Bridenstine on Thursday.

In a statement released Wednesday, New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen, the Senate's top Democrat funding NASA, announced the United States' main national security targets and "weaken US global image by weakening the US's global image." Demonstrate ease with which Russian officials can handle transatlantic sanctions. "

Bridenstein's invitation to Rogozin also cast a spell on LGBTQ constituency members, including GLAAD According to the Houston Chronicle, Rogozin points to Rogozin's derogatory comments on gay and transgender people.

The US and Russia have a long standing relationship Cooperation of the International Space Station, and since the departure of the Space Shuttle in 2011, the US relied on Roscosmos to transport astronauts to the space station.

Bridenstine had invited the Russian counterpart after visiting Russia and Kazakhstan in Russia October was hosted by Roscosmos, NASA officials said.

CNN's Eric Fiegel and Nathan Hodge contributed to this report.


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