Apparently, Russians are not so excited about joining hands with the United States when it comes to space business. According to recent reports, Moscow may dump a project of building a space station in the lunar orbit in collaboration with the American space agency NASA and the reason behind that is Russia doesn't want a "second fiddle role," as stated a Russian official.
Last year, Russia had nodded to the proposal of working alongside NASA on the moon-orbiting Deep Space Gateway plans. The space station was supposed to become a future staging post for the deep space missions. However, now Russian space agency Roscosmos' chief, Dmitry Rogozin has said that Russia might opt out of the collaboration. Instead, the country might go ahead and propose its very own space station project.
The RIA news agency reported that Rogozin has said that the Russian Federation can't "afford to play the second fiddle role in it."
On the other hand, a Roscosmos spokesman has stated that Russia is not exiting the plan; nor does it have any such immediate plans to do so. Vladimir Ustimenko said that the country "has not refused to take part in the project" with the USA, reported TASS news agency.
It is to be noted that that the relationship between the two countries, i.e. the United States and Russia, started to spiral down since 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine and was also accused of getting involved in the 2016 American presidential election.