President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Borisov, you do not have to say anything about the rocket and space sector. As a Deputy Prime Minister, you oversaw this area of activity in the Government. You know its prospects and our competitive advantages, and you know the issues that need special attention.
What aspects should we focus on?
Director General of the Roscosmos State Corporation Yury Borisov: Mr President, first of all, I would like to thank you for appointing me to this high-ranking position. It is a great honour for me. On the other hand, I have to assume additional obligations.
Russia paved the way into outer space for the entire world, and I believe that every Russian citizen is proud of our space achievements. Many generations of Russian engineers and designers created a tremendous scientific and technological basis, and it is necessary to convert this basis into specific services that the Russian economy needs today.
The sector is facing a difficult situation, and the main task of my colleagues and myself is to increase, rather than reduce, specific standards. We need to provide the Russian economy with essential space services, in the first place. This includes navigation, communications, data transmission, meteorological and geodetic information, etc. These are the services that are in greatest demand today, and it is impossible to imagine our everyday life without them.
We will also continue to implement the manned space programme in line with our approved plans. We will focus on creating a Russian orbital station. Nor will we forget about space research.
Vladimir Putin: Distant space.
Yury Borisov: Distant space.
Vladimir Putin: What are your ideas regarding the short-term plans for the manned space programme?
Yury Borisov: Mr President, you know that we are working within the framework of international cooperation projects aboard the International Space Station. We will certainly meet our obligations before our partners, but we have decided to leave this station after 2024. I believe that we will start building a Russian orbital station by that time. To my mind, the future of the Russian manned space programme should primarily hinge on a well-thought-out and systemic research programme, so that each flight will expand our knowledge of outer space.
Vladimir Putin: Fine.