Executive Intelligence Review


Putin-Abe Video Call to ISS Astronauts: Solving Problems in Space Helps Us on Earth

May 26, 2018 (EIRNS—This evening in Moscow, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin made a joint video call to the Japanese and Russian astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS). Putin told them,

“You have done more than 50 experiments and research projects, solving problems in space. You create an amazing and necessary atmosphere for solving our problems here on the Earth.”

He spoke to Russian cosmonaut, ISS Expedition 55 Commander Anton Shkaplerov and Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai. As TASS reported, this was the first-ever video call jointly made to space by Putin and a guest. Putin has otherwise made several individual calls.

The video call was displayed on a screen in the St. Andrew Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace. Also present was Dmitry Rogozin, newly appointed head of Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency. Prior to the call, Abe and Putin had talks and dinner. Following the video call, they had a signing ceremony, and held a news conference. In the evening, they went to the Bolshoi Theater for ceremonies marking the cross year of “Russia in Japan” and “Japan in Russia.”

There was much to the video exchange between the ISS and Moscow. Abe told the astronauts about his talks with Putin, which covered ways to cooperate. Putin praised Japan.

“Japan makes a considerable contribution to the International Space Station, as not only do Japanese nationals and researchers work in space, but also Japanese specialists do a large amount of research and there is a huge amount of equipment.”

Japanese astronaut Kanai said,

“Russia boasts a lengthy history of space exploration, but Japan has developed its own technology to do research in outer space, so one-plus-one equals not two, but three, or even four. Cooperation pays off greatly.”

On peace talks with Japan, Putin said,

“For our part, we will be striving so that compromises acceptable for both sides can be found.... I cannot say what they [the compromises] might be like because if I could say, we would have already signed a corresponding document [the peace treaty with Japan]. In order to boost security, we must do our best to increase trust,”

he said, reported TASS.

“One of the ways to increase trust is to build cooperation. I have already said, speaking about North Korea, that the more cooperation, the more chances to develop normal relations and to create the conditions for solving old global problems such as the peace treaty,”

Putin said. Concerning commitments to broader agreement, “We will be creating the conditions for joint work on the Kuril Islands and on the whole, we will be enhancing our cooperation,” he said.