The head of Russia’s space program has called for more international cooperation in NASA’s lunar program.

Russia’s plans to send people back to the moon are “too American-centric” and Russia will not be involved, Russian space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin said today. He has been critical of the plan in the past and now says Russia is willing to participate only if it focuses more on international cooperation.

“The most important thing here will be to base this plan on the principles of international cooperation that we have all used,” Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space agency, told a virtual press conference at the International Astronautical Congress. If these principles can be used as the basis for the project, the Russian Space Agency could also consider its participation. “

Rogozin has made it clear that he doesn’t like NASA’s moon program, called Artemis, which aims to send the first woman to the moon’s surface. Part of the plan calls for the construction of a space station around the moon called the “Moon Portal”, which will serve as an orbital outpost for astronauts to continue landing on the moon’s surface.

NASA has worked with a number of international agencies, particularly Canada and Europe, for the Artemis program, but NASA is a leader in almost all of the program’s main elements, including the rockets, spacecraft, landers and modules needed for the Portal. Rogozin has also said he doesn’t like the U.S.-led approach.

‘Through the lunar program, we have observed that our U.S. partners have deviate from the principles of cooperation and mutual support that developed during cooperation on the International Space Station,’ said Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space agency. They see their projects not as international, but as similar to NATO. To be honest, Russia is not interested in participating in such projects. “

Rogozin also dismissed NASA’s Artemis Agreement, a set of guidelines set by NASA and the U.S. State Department for countries exploring the moon. The agreement calls for a set of standard rules on how to mine places where the moon and its surface need to be protected.

However, Rogozin also said he hoped the “Moon Portal” space station would have a docking port so that future Russian spacecraft could attach to the station if necessary. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who also attended the news conference, tried to respond to Rogozin’s comments about international cooperation, but the topic shifted to the next question. Bridenstein did tell Reuters in July that he was hopeful that NASA and the Russian space agency would continue to work together.

The head of Russia's space program has called for more international cooperation in NASA's lunar program.