Russia will launch a lunar probe later this year and deepen cooperation with Belarus on space infrastructure and technology, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a meeting with Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia's Far East, Putin recalled Soviet successes in space and said no sanctions on Russia could halt its progress.
What Russia calls its "special military operation" to demilitarise and "denazify" Ukraine triggered a barrage of sanctions from Western countries including restrictions on scientific funding and cooperation.
Putin said Russia would develop a new generation transport spaceship and technologies for nuclear energy in space.
He also said it would launch a probe called Luna-25 to the moon in the third quarter of this year.
Russia would work with Belarus on infrastructure that guarantees the countries independent access to space, said Putin, adding that he'd asked Russia's space agency, Roskosmos, to train a Belarusian for flight on a Russian spacecraft.
(Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)