Russia slowly severs the tie with the United States as it threatens to suspend American GPS operations in Russia come June 1. In the same clause Russia will also stop supporting Washington in using Russian-made rocket engines for military satellite launches.
Russia retaliated with this news due to the imposed sanctions the country has been receiving from the U.S., accusing them of backing the Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. Likewise, Russia thinks it's unfair how the U.S. supports Ukraine's government financially. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said the U.S. plans to dismiss export licenses for high-technology items add to Russia's current troubles.
These sanctions are out of place and inappropriate," Rogozin said. "We have enough of our own problems," reported Huffington Post.
U.S. and Russia's space global navigation satellites in space will not operate completely without the ground-based GPS stations. Global Positioning Systems provide useful information for weather monitoring, commercial and civil tracking, and military uses.
Russia is also planning to set up its own GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) in American soil. GLONASS is Russia's alternative to the GPS which has similar capabilities. Rogozin stated that Washington has until May 31 to settle the issue of placing GLONASS stations on U.S. territory.
According to Rogozin, the negotiations will last for three months, hoping that Russia and the U.S. will reach a mutual agreement on restoring cooperation. But Rogozin warns that if the negotiations are unsuccessful, America's 11 GPS operations in Russia will be terminated come Sept 1.
Threatening to cut off GPS stations in Russia won't have any effect on day to day commercial use, but it would greatly interrupt international space and scientific research.
Rogozin emphasised that Russia only applies drastic actions in response to the sanctions imposed by the West.