Livid over “Iron Curtain” sanctions by the U.S. and the EU after Crimean land grab, Moscow is threatening American spacemen!
Hardline Russkies warned that American astronauts on the International Space Station may be harmed by new US-led sanctions over the escalation in the Ukraine, where pro-Vlad militants seized more public buildings in the east.
Moscow raged that the Obama administration was resorting to "Iron Curtain" policies from the Cold War-era with new sanctions from the West that were driving the Ukraine crisis to "a dead end", politically.
The sanctions include high tech exports to the former USSR and since America no longer has a manned space program (thanks to the dismantling of the shuttle program in July 2011), U.S. astronauts have been forced to hitch a ride with cosmonauts aboard Soyuz-era spacecraft to the International Space Station.
The cost of such piggy-backing? $70.7 million per seat, according to Space.com.
The ISS is manned jointly by American, Japanese, Russian, Europe, Japan and Canada astronauts.
But with Western sanctions proposed to specifically bar technology exports, the Russian bear is doing more than growling – it’s drawing a line across the high frontier.
"If their aim is to deliver a blow to Russia's rocket-building sector, then by default, they would be exposing their astronauts on the ISS," Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin warned, Interfax news agency reported.
"Sanctions are always a boomerang which come back and painfully hit those who launched them," Rogozin added while touring Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine last month.
While the US and EU sanctions singles out Russian kingpin Vladimir President Putin and some of his key cronies including Sergei V. Chemezov, the director general of Rostec, the Russian state corporation which oversees high-technology industries, President Obama speaking in Manila said the goal was not to target Vlad personally.
“The (sanctions are) to encourage him to actually walk the walk and not just talk the talk when it comes to diplomatically resolving the crisis in Ukraine,” Pres. Obama told media in the Philippines.