In 2003, NASA will reduce expenditures on the International Space Station (ISS) from $2.3bn to $1.2bn, head of the Rosaviakosmos aerospace agency Yury Koptev reported to journalists. According to him, Russia is discussing a possibility of reducing its expenditures on the ISS by 12 to 15 percent.
Koptev also reported that the plans of the ISS development did not stipulate the construction of a rescue ship in the near future. Its creation is planned for 2008-2010. Additionally, Japan has postponed the construction of its block at the station; Europe has reduced its program. In Koptev's opinion, this is why it is necessary to change the mode of the ISS activities, to increase the number of laboratory experiments carried out at the station, and to take a number of other measures. All these issues will be discussed at a meeting of heads of world space agencies on December 5, 2002.
The Americans came to realise that they would have to either leave the region or weaken their presence there. It is Russia that is filling the vacuum now