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UK announces ban on space-related exports to Russia

Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss holds a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not in frame) in the State Department in Washington, DC, on March 9, 2022.
Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss holds a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not in frame) in the State Department in Washington, DC, on March 9, 2022. (Image credit: Jim Watson/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

The United Kingdom has issued new trade sanctions against Russia that ban all space-related exports to that country in response to its invasion of Ukraine

U.K. Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss announced the new space export sanctions on Wednesday (March 9) alongside deeper sanctions related to aviation, including new powers to detain Russian aircraft. The space-related sanctions feature a "ban on the export of aviation and space-related goods and technology, including technical assistance," according to a statement (opens in new tab).

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The space export ban includes all related services, including insurance or reinsurance services, U.K. officials said. "This means cover is withdrawn on existing policies and UK insurers and reinsurers will be unable to pay claims in respect of existing policies in these sectors," wrote in the statement.

U.K.'s new trade sanctions are designed to tighten the already severe economic sanctions levied against Russia by many countries after President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. They join harsh sanctions by the United States that President Joseph Biden has said would degrade the Russian space program.

"We will continue to support Ukraine diplomatically, economically and defensively in the face of Putin's illegal invasion, and work to isolate Russia on the international stage," Truss said in the statement.

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Tariq Malik
Editor-in-Chief

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter.