'No fixed date' for Russian ISS withdrawal

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Russia has not set a date for its withdrawal from the International Space Station, Russian news agencies have quoted the head of Russia's Roscosmos space agency as saying.

Yury Borisov, the newly appointed Roscosmos head, told Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week that Roscosmos had decided it will leave the ISS "after 2024".

"We are starting the exit process. Whether it will be in the middle of 2024 or 2025, it all depends on the condition and working capacity of the ISS. But the fact we will start doing this is no secret," the RIA Novosti news agency quoted Borisov as saying on Friday in an interview on state TV.

The space station, which was launched in 1998, has been continuously occupied since November 2000 under a US-Russian-led partnership that also includes Canada, Japan and 11 European countries.

Earlier this month Roscosmos and NASA signed a new deal to take each other's astronauts to the space station, now one of the last links of cooperation between the United States and Russia as tensions flare over the war in Ukraine.

A senior NASA official has told Reuters that Russia's departure from the ISS would be less imminent that Roscosmos was indicating earlier.

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