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NASA downplaying Russian official's talk of earlier end to co-operation on space station

WASHINGTON - NASA is downplaying a Russian official's statements about an earlier end to co-operation on the International Space Station because of U.S. sanctions on Moscow.

Russia deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin said Tuesday in tweets and a news conference that American sanctions imposed because of action in Ukraine would boomerang. He tweeted that Russia wouldn't continue co-operating with the United States on the 15-nation International Space Station past 2020, as NASA had hoped. The United States relies on Russian Soyuz capsules to fly to and from the station.

Rogozin also tweeted that crucial Russian rocket engines would only be shipped to the U.S. for non-military purposes.

NASA spokesman Allard Beutel said co-operation in space has been a hallmark of U.S.-Russian relations and the agency has not been notified of any changes.

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