Congratulating the space station’s crew on Cosmonautics Day, the President said that space remains one of Russia’s top priorities. It is one of the five big national technological modernization priorities.
During the linkup, Mr Medvedev discussed with the cosmonauts international cooperation in space and asked about their daily lives aboard the station.
The station’s commander, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov, said that an international crew of 13 people in all, including cosmonauts from the USA and Japan, is currently aboard the station.
The President said that he is flying to the USA today, where he will meet with US President Barack Obama and other colleagues, and promised to pass on the ISS crew’s greetings.
Mr Medvedev said that international cooperation is extremely important for the future of space exploration, especially considering that space projects are growing more complex in nature.
The President suggested that it would be worth organizing a summit of the heads of state and government of countries working on space exploration.
The linkup with the International Space Station lasted around 25 minutes.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Dear friends, I sincerely congratulate all of you – those receiving us via the linkup, and those present here – on today’s holiday, Cosmonautics Day.
It is a great pleasure, of course, to greet our friends currently in orbit, the international crew gathered there now. I am very happy to see you. I know that these linkups usually do not last long, and so I want to express in this short time all of the emotion we feel when speaking with our colleagues up there in space, in orbit.
Space is something global, something that we all share, and there has perhaps been no area of such importance for our lives, no area that unites us all to such a degree as the space development that humanity has pursued over these last years.
Of course, we each have our own vision of the place that space occupies in the history of our respective countries. In Russia, as the successor state to the Soviet Union, space is a very deep-rooted part of our traditions.
I remember how, when I was still a child, TV news or other programmes would suddenly be interrupted by the Intervision picture. For a moment, the worrying thought would even cross your mind that something bad had happened, but it would turn out to be an announcement that we had launched our latest space crew. To be honest, I felt a special pride during those moments. This was all a while back now, though, and humanity has made tremendous progress in space exploration since then.
I do not want to say a lot now about our country’s priorities in space. Our colleagues know that space is one of our five big national technological modernisation priorities. This sums up completely the importance we place on space. This is a subject that we discuss regularly with our colleagues present here today. I do not want to be the only one offering my congratulations. I would like to hear from you, my friends, and so, [addressing the International Space Station’s crew] I give you the floor.
Again, I wish you a happy holiday!