Amid threats from Russia and security concerns in the U.S., negotiations on the contentious placement of Russian Glonass satellite navigation stations on U.S. soil will resume in the next few weeks, a Russian space official said Thursday.
Russian Federal Space Agency deputy Sergei Savelyev said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that he anticipates negotiations to begin "very soon, within the next two or three weeks," despite tense political relations over the Ukrainian crisis and U.S. security services' earlier concerns that the station could pose a threat to national security.
Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said that Russia would disable Global Position System, or GPS infrastructure located in Russian territory, on June 1 if the U.S. did not agree to begin negotiations on the placement of Glonass monitoring stations.
Savyelev said that allowing Russia to set up the stations "would allow us to get away from the unpleasant situation with regard to sanctions and to continue cooperation," but added that Roscosmos was still waiting for the U.S.'s response to Rogozin's statement.
The issue sparked controversy in November, when a Russian Space Agency proposal to set up Glonass stations in the U.S. caught the ire of Pentagon and CIA officials concerned that the stations could be used for electronic surveillance or present a threat to U.S. national security infrastructure.
Two weeks ago the U.S. Congress asked national security officials to evaluate the potential threat of hosting Glonass stations and to report back on their findings.