OREANDA-NEWSThe European Space Agency (ESA) is ready in the future to send its astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) on Russian Soyuz spacecraft, but this requires appropriate agreements with Roscosmos. A decision on this has not yet been made, head of the agency Jan Werner told the Russian media on Wednesday at the MAKS-2019 air show.

Earlier, the head of the ESA’s representative office in the Russian Federation, Rene Pischel, told the Russian media that ESA could temporarily stop the flights of European astronauts to the ISS on Soyuz. According to him, in accordance with the current flight schedule agreed by the ISS partner countries, Luca Parmitano is the last European astronaut to fly to the station on the Russian Soyuz in the near future. This is due to the appearance of American manned spacecraft, as well as the contractual relationship of the European Space Agency with NASA to work on the ISS.

"For the further launch of European astronauts on Russian ships, a direct agreement is needed, in particular with Roscosmos. There is no such agreement yet. No decision has been made to date, it will be considered in the future", Werner said, adding that during a meeting with the head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin on Tuesday, the European side expressed its willingness to reach an agreement with the Russian Federation on the further delivery of ESA astronauts to the Soyuz.

According to him, ESA does not pay for the flights of its astronauts to the ISS. The agency supplies equipment to its American colleagues, and they provide the opportunity to launch European astronauts to the station. Since 2011, only Russian Soyuz spacecraft have been flying from the manned spacecraft to the International Space Station. They deliver Russian, American and other ISS crew members. In the United States, SpaceX and Boeing are developing new manned spacecraft.