Shaheen wants invite to Russian space leader withdrawn

January 2, 2019 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says reports that NASA’s administrator has invited the head of the Russian space agency for a visit undermine the United States’ core national security objectives.

Shaheen, a Democrat, is one of a number of U.S. officials and legislators criticizing a possible visit by Dmity Rogozin. She said NASA should withdraw the invitation before Congress is forced to take action.

Rogozin was the deputy prime minister of the Russian Federation and was one of the first Russian officials sanctioned by the U.S. in 2014 for his leading role in initiating the Ukraine crisis.

In November, Rogozin and Bill Gerstenmaier, head of NASA’s human explorations and operations, hailed the joint work of their programs and said cooperation remains strong despite political tensions between their countries.