Russian global positioning system GLONASS, the world’s only functioning competitor of the US GPS, and the European system Galileo will be supplementary to each other, according to the head of the Russian Space Agency Anatoly Perminov. “We should create these systems in a way to make GLONASS and Galileo efficient and compatible”, Perminov said after the meeting with the head of the European Space Agency J.J. Dordenom and the head of the General Directorate on Business and Industry of the European Commission H. Surek.
Perminov informed that the talks resulted in the agreement according to which "the work of the systems GLONASS and Galielo will be possible on the same consumers’ equipment". Within the frameworks of the agreement specific works on technical compatibility of both systems are already planned. Cooperation in satellite navigation is one of the seven directions of the cooperation between Russian and European Space Agencies.
In spite of the fact the full-fledged Russian system consisting of 24 satellites will start working globally in 2009 and the Europeans “are just in the beginning” the agreement is politically and economically advantageous for Russians. First of all it brings Russia closer to the huge and rich European market, as well as to the consumers in the regions which are oriented towards European hardware. Secondly, civil use of the navigation system is considered a bottle neck for the Russian project, therefore joining the efforts with the Europe, where satellite navigation is already widely spread, is a tangible moral support. The last but not least is that Russian and European systems together will be a far more competitive alternative to the American GPS than each system alone.