A delegation of the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and a number of specialized Russian agencies failed to attend the 65th International Astronautical Congress in Toronto as many of their members had been denied Canadian visas, a source in the Russian space industry told Interfax-AVN on Tuesday.
"Pilot cosmonaut Sergei Krikalyov [currently TsNIIMash Central Research Institute of Machine Building First Deputy Director for Manned Programs] and TsNIIMash General Director Alexander Milkovsky were amongst "the banned"," the source said.
"Only two support staff workers from amongst about ten expected members of the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) delegation were issued visas," he said.
"Remarkably, the two translators who were issued visas were the last to file their applications," the source noted.
"The denial of visas to the Russians was clearly politically motivated," he said.
"Therefore, it was decided not to send the Roscosmos delegation to Toronto," the source added.
"It seems a similar situation has been encountered by the Chinese organization, not just the Russians," the source said. "Moreover, delegations of a number of Middle and Near East countries have also been left outside of the congress, which has the theme "Our World Needs Space" this year."
The source did not rule out some scheming because the delegations of Russian agencies and departments "had paid a fee for the attendance of their delegates to the Canadian organizing committee of the congress."
The Russian Foreign Ministry has been informed about the situation and it "will hardly let it pass unchallenged," the source said.
All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.