Scientific and Technological Cooperation: Russia’s Self-Righteous Attitude Will Lead to Isolation

Russia, which has come under severe criticism from the world for its aggression against Ukraine, is also becoming increasingly isolated in the fields of science and technology. Russia should refrain from turning its back on the international community with further words and actions.

Take, for example, the field of space exploration. Russian Soyuz rockets have been in demand for satellite launches around the world. However, Russia canceled the launch of a communications satellite scheduled in Kazakhstan for a British company and withdrew its personnel from a base in French Guiana.

Schedules are important for launches. If the launch schedule is canceled unilaterally, the country cannot expect to receive orders in the future. It is inevitable that Russia will slip from its position as a major space power that has led development along with the United States.

It is expected that the shift to U.S. commercial rockets and other spacecraft will continue. This should be an opportunity for Japan as well, but the development of Japan’s next major rocket is lagging behind. Securing the ability to launch satellites is becoming increasingly important. We hope that Japan will speed up its development.

The future of the International Space Station is also uncertain. The ISS framework, which includes Japan, the U.S., Europe, Russia and other nations, has been maintained regardless of conflicts among the countries included and has been regarded as a symbol of international cooperation as a result.

Russia has been in charge of keeping the ISS in orbit, but the head of the Russian space agency, who is in a position of control over the ISS, has asked, “Who will save the ISS from falling out of orbit?” he wrote on Twitter, “I’m not sure I want to be a part of the ISS.”

Considering the long history of cooperation between countries in space development, this post by a representative of a public organization is extremely irresponsible and cannot be overlooked.

If Russia adopts a policy of isolation as it did in the days of the former Soviet Union, the level of its science and technology is bound to decline significantly, and it will be left behind by the rest of the world.

The tension over Russia is also casting a dark shadow over the field of basic science. Some countries have canceled joint research projects with Russia or switched conferences scheduled to be held in Russia to online.

In recent years, security concerns have increased over the handling of advanced science and technology. As long as Russia is subject to severe economic sanctions, it is inevitable that certain restrictions will be placed on research activities.

However, scientific knowledge is the common property of humankind. In an age when international joint research has become the norm, responses to global warming and infectious diseases will not be possible without cooperation across national borders.

Russia needs to recognize this situation and change its hard-line stance, which will only worsen the situation.

About this publication

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply