By Isabel van Brugen

Feb 28, 2024


Russia’s Roscosmos space agency plans to sell off assets worth more than 11.4 billion rubles ($124 million) as sanctions imposed by the West over President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine continue to take a toll, local media has reported.

A representative of the company told Russian news outlet RBC that the decision was made after Roscosmos lost almost 80 percent of its export income after losing orders and key partners due to the war in Ukraine. This year, it intends to sell its “non-core” assets—more than 150 items including boarding houses and former sanatoriums, land and property complexes, and recreation centers.

Since Putin launched his full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Roscosmos has lost valuable customers such as U.K.-based satellite operator OneWeb Ltd. and South Korea’s space agency, removing a key source of foreign funding, Bloomberg previously reported.

In December, Roscosmos Director General Yuri Borisov said on state TV that the year “was not easy” for the company. “But the most important thing is that, I hope, we have reversed all the negative trends that have accompanied the industry for several years,” he said.

A list of properties the company hopes to sell in 2024 includes those located in the capital Moscow, and the surrounding Moscow region, the Krasnodar region, Samara, the Tver region and elsewhere.

Funds from the sale of property will be used to “improve the financial and economic condition of the enterprises” of Roscosmos, the representative said, noting that last year, the company made over 6.5 billion rubles ($70.72 million) from the sale of its non-core assets.

Borisov said in December that the company had lost contracts worth 180 billion rubles ($1.9 billion) out of 230 billion ($2.5 billion) as a result of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and subsequent sanctions imposed on Russia by Kyiv’s allies.

“Out of 230 billion rubles, 180 billion of contracts went to so-called unfriendly countries—these included the supply of engines and launch services. Therefore, 180 billion, in fact, has gone from our export revenue,” Borisov told the Russia-24 TV channel.

In October last year, Roscosmos appeared to admit that Russia’s Luna-25 mission failed as it couldn’t replace Western tech.

The company said the unmanned spacecraft Luna-25, which was expected to land on the South Pole of the moon on August 21, spun out of control and crashed into the moon’s surface on August 19 due to a malfunction in the probe’s control unit.

Russia has struggled to replace some of the sophisticated technology it imported from the West, such as microchips, since it was hit with unprecedented sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine.