UK MP: “Stop OneWeb Russia launch”
March 2, 2022
By Chris Forrester
A Russian rocket is scheduled to launch 36 OneWeb satellites on March 4th. The British government is being urged to cancel the launch. The UK is a major shareholder in OneWeb.
The UK’s all-party House of Commons Business, Energy & Industry Strategy committee chair, Darren Jones MP, told BBC News that “Much like the ask of BP and Shell, OneWeb should not be continuing to engage in commercial activities with Russian companies. Ministers should be working with the OneWeb board to help secure this outcome as soon as possible.”
Jones has written formally to the government’s Ministry and asked what payments – if any – had been paid to the Russians, and whether OneWeb or the launch company would be subject to sanctions.
The launch is being handled by Arianespace but the task is sub-contracted to Russia’s space agency Roscosmos which uses its facilities at Baikonur in Kazakhstan and a Russian-built Soyuz rocket to place the craft into orbit.
A statement from the UK government says it is in conversation with OneWeb.