ST. PETERSBURG, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Given China's rapid development and its strong ties and common interests with Russia, it is only too right to foster cooperation between the two countries in the space sector, said Dmitry Rogozin, director general of Russia's state space corporation Roscosmos.
China, a prospering country with a rapidly growing GDP and an ability to capitalize on scientific research, is Russia's good partner and good neighbor, Rogozin told Xinhua in an interview Tuesday during the Global Space Exploration Conference 2021 held here this week.
There are many cases of mutual support, where Russia and China collaborated on space projects and shared knowledge and equipment, Rogozin explained. And that shows that both countries are able to foster productive and balanced cooperation based on intellectual and technological expertise.
"We have a mutual understanding or coinciding positions on most issues of international politics, so why not cooperate together in space? I think this is the right thing to do," he said.
On the global development of the space industry, Rogozin pointed out how countries are gaining confidence, technology, and talent resource, "while China and Russia are certainly very interesting partners in this regard."
Rogozin further talked about the importance of collaborating on deep space exploration.
"In deep space, considering that the distance to the moon is farther than to the International Space Station, mutual support is extremely important. We never know what can happen, and how would we help our astronauts and recover lost equipment," he said.
On the memorandum of understanding signed by the two countries this year on the construction of the International Lunar Research Station, Rogozin emphasized the symbolic significance of this cooperation, especially as it was initiated during the year marking the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's flight into space.
"We will continue supporting each other, developing together, and the project on the creation of the International Lunar Research Station, which was introduced by Russia and China and is open to all participants on an equal basis, is indeed a very good initiative," Rogozin said.
"I hope that the Europeans and maybe even the Americans will later agree to join this project; this will certainly remove the last existing barriers with regard to space activity and exploration," he added.