The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) has opposed calls by a minister for sanctions to be imposed on Eutelsat.

Writing in a letter to deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin, seen by Izvestia and subsequently reported by the Moscow Times, Nikolai Nikiforov, the communications and mass media minister, said that Russia should undertake retaliatory measures if France continued to block the delivery of the first of two Mistral helicopter carriers commissioned in 2011.

In his view, contracts between the Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC) and Eutelsat, valued at 658.9 million, should be cancelled as a retaliatory measure. Nikiforov added that the purchase of the Express-AMU2 communications satellite from EADS should also be cancelled.

However, in another letter to Rogozin, Igor Komarov, the head of Roscosmos, said that counter-sanctions on Eutelsat would not have the desired effect of influencing French and EU policy as the satellite company is not state owned.

Komarov also warned that Russia could face further sanctions.