Russia has not signaled space station withdrawal to NASA, U.S. official says

FILE PHOTO: ISS photographed by Expedition 56 crew members from a Soyuz spacecraft after undocking

By Joey Roulette

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russia has not communicated to NASA its intent to withdraw from the International Space Station in 2024, a senior official with the U.S. agency told Reuters, as Russia's new space chief claimed on Tuesday that Moscow plans to pull out of the two-decade-old orbital partnership.

"Of course, we will fulfill all our obligations to our partners, but the decision about withdrawing from the station after 2024 has been made," Yuri Borisov, the newly appointed director general of Russia's space agency, told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

But Robyn Gatens, the director of the space station for NASA, said her Russian counterparts have not communicated any such intent, as required by the station's intergovernmental agreement, she said.

"Nothing official yet," Gatens told Reuters at an ISS conference in Washington. "We literally just saw that as well. We haven't gotten anything official."

(Reporting by Joey Roulette; Editing by Mark Porter and Jonathan Oatis)