NASA has indefinitely rescinded a planned visit by the Director General of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, who has been sanctioned for his role in Russia’s annexation of the Crimea, USA Today reports. Following mounting pressure, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine cancelled the visit by his Russian counterpart.
"NASA has informed the Russian space agency, Roscosmos that the proposed visit of Roscosmos Director General, Dr. Dmitry Rogozin, currently planned for February 2019, will need to be postponed. A new date for the visit has not been identified,” said Bridenstine’s spokesperson Megan Powers. " ."
Among those who criticized NASA for inviting Rogozin were Virginia Senator Mark Warner and New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen, the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds NASA. “America’s message to the Kremlin should be unequivocal: actions have consequences,” Shaheen said earlier this week. "Administrator Bridenstine’s invitation to Dmitry Rogozin, one of the leading architects of the Kremlin’s campaign of aggression towards its neighbors, undercuts our message and undermines the United States’ core national security objectives."
Rogozin had been placed on the US sanctions list for involvement in the Crimean annexation. The US sanctions included a ban on travel to the U.S. and a freeze on some assets held in U.S. banks.
NASA’s invitation to Rogozin was coordinated in advance and a waiver allowing Rogozin to visit the U.S. had been granted by the Department of Treasury in June.