Proton and Sealauch unaffected by sanctions

May 1, 2014 07.31 Europe/London By Robert Briel

ProtonLaunchBaikonourThe newly imposed US sanctions against Russia will not affect the work of the International Launch Services (ILS) and Sealaunch.

Scheduled launches of Astra and Eutelsat satellites will go ahead as planned. “International Launch Services has all the necessary permits from the US Department of State to execute the previously scheduled launches till 2016,” SES spokesperson Yves Feltes told RIA Novosti.

“Any new licenses will be considered by the US Department of State on a case-by-case basis. As for the current sanctions imposed by the US Treasury Department against Russian citizens and companies, they did not affect our work.”

ILS sells commercial contracts for satellites on the Russian Proton rocket. The company is majority owned by Russia’s Khrunichev, which builds the Proton launch vehicles. ILS uses the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Sea Launch, the world’s only ocean-based space launch company, also said it does not anticipate any impact on operations for the foreseeable future. The company is a consortium of four companies from Norway, Russia, Ukraine and the US. The company’s Zenit 3SL rocket was set to launch the Eutelsat 3B communications satellite into orbit April 15, but the ;aunch was delayed pending investigation after a rocket component was damaged during preflight testing.

The US announced new sanctions against Russia on Monday, April 28. “Effective immediately, the department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls will deny pending applications for export or re-export of any high technology defense articles or services. In addition, the department is taking actions to revoke any existing export licenses which meet these conditions. All other pending applications and existing licenses will receive a case-by-case evaluation to determine their contribution to Russia’s military capabilities,” US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement.