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Russia-U.S. Science Collaboration Trumps Russiagate

March 16, 2019 (EIRNS)—The presidents of the Russian Academy of Sciences Aleksander Segeev and the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Marcia McNutt, C.D. Mote, Jr., and Victor Dzau, respectively signed a five-year agreement on March 12 in Washington to continue their cooperation on studies, workshops, and other activities in “areas of mutual interest.” The agreement renews the collaboration which began 60 years ago, then “as a way to keep dialogue open and ideas flowing between Soviet and American scientists during the Cold War,” the RAS explained in a press release.

The agreement outlines a wide range of areas of potential cooperation to be taken between 2019 and 2023, including research in astrophysics, and lunar and planetary studies, with the use of space equipment. Other areas include analysis of energy issues, natural disaster response, and basic and applied medical research.

Stepping from the purely scientific to the diplomatic and political, the academies state they “will devote special efforts to increase the scientific and policy impact of cooperation, and to continue to decrease impediments to cooperation.” Specifically, the two nations’ academies agree to continue to promote progress in “the timely consideration of visa applications for persons involved in scientific cooperation.”

According to Sputnik, the two sides were also to discuss the opening of the Russian Academy’s office in the United States. Reportedly, over the past two years the Russian Academy has repeatedly called for such ongoing representation of the two leading space powers to improve coordination with foreign academies.

Over the past decade, the independent U.S. Academy has increasingly spoken out against political agendas having an impact on scientific cooperation, registering an objection to the State Department when Chinese scientists were denied visas to attend an international space conference in Houston.

The National Academy of Sciences was established by Abraham Lincoln as a non-governmental institution to advise the President. The Russian Academy of Sciences was established more than 100 years earlier, in 1724, by Peter the Great, under the advice and counsel of Gottfried Leibniz.

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