Today a hearing took place in the State Duma in Moscow on “Opportunities
for Euro-Russia co-operation in space”. The meeting was hosted by the
President of the State Duma, Gennadi Seleznev, and was organised by the
Chairman of the Duma Committee on Education and Science, Ivan Melnikov.

The meeting followed political contacts of the Duma with Philippe Busquin,
Commissioner for Research in the European Commission and with Members of
the European Parliament. Last year Commissioner Busquin expressed the will
to reinforce the EU-Russia initiative “Dialogue on Space” during a meeting
with Yuri Koptev, Director General of the Russian Aviation and Space
Agency, Rosaviakosmos.

In parallel, Mr Yuri Koptev and Mr. Antonio Rodot, Director General of
the European Space Agency (ESA) have been assessing the possibility of
enhancing cooperation between ESA and Rosaviakosmos.

The European delegation consisted of representatives of the European
Commission and the European Space Agency, a member of the European
Parliament and representatives from industry; the Russian side was
composed of legislators, space industry, and representatives from
Rosaviakosmos. Participants in the hearing reviewed current joint
activities and in particular the impetus which the new European Strategy
for Space, adopted by the European Union Research Council and the ESA
Council in November 2000, can give to further co-operation between the
EU, ESA and the Russian Federation.

The industrial presentations and subsequent discussions highlighted three
areas that merit particular attention because of the wide-ranging benefits
to be expected from combining efforts:

  • launch services
  • development of the satellite navigation system GALILEO

  • elaboration of the initiative “Global Monitoring for Environment and
    Security” (GMES) and supporting space-based and information-related

    Co-operation in these areas promises not only economic benefits in a
    global marketplace, but also technological, strategic and political

    The participants at this high-level hearing recommended that the joint
    working group, which was set up by Commissioner Busquin and Director
    General Koptev in the framework of the Dialogue on Space with full
    involvement of the European Space Agency, rapidly address these three
    areas on a political level, building on existing achievements. There is a
    window of opportunity to move negotiations forward and plan industry work
    in these areas.

    The legislators specifically asked Euro-Russia Working Group to forward
    its findings to the European Parliament and the State Duma.

    For further information, please contact :

    ESA Communication Department

    Media Relations Office

    Tel.: +33(0)

    Fax: +33(0)