Roscosmos and the space agency of the United Arab Emirates have signed an agreement of intent at the International Astronautical Congress under which Russia may help the UAE create its own cosmonaut team, Roscosmos Executive Director for Manned Space Flight Programs Sergey Krikalev told reporters.
"An agreement of intent has been signed today with the UAE space agency, which implies wide-ranging cooperation. The partnership may involve manned programs, and, as far as I understand, it is not about a tourist flight. The Arab side is interested in creating its own cosmonaut team," Krikalev said.
Russia and the UAE may also collaborate in space equipment production and science experiments at the ISS. Krikalev added,"We explained to our partners that this is the easiest and most evident thing we should start with. This is an international platform for formulating technologies. We are ready to include their list of experiments in a number [of experiments] held on board the ISS."
Krikalev added that it was too early to speak of a deadline for the signed agreement. "The given agreement concerns developing opportunities, including assistance in selecting the cosmonaut team: Our experts may help them select their candidates and organize trainings, some of which may be held in Russia, in the Cosmonaut Training Center," Krikalev noted.
The next round of talks between the Russian and UAE space agencies will occur at this November’s Dubai Airshow. "The next round of talks will be held at the Dubai airshow, I guess, and on another platform next February. By the way, the UAE experts already came to us for the ISS manned mission launch at the Baikonur Cosmodrome and saw the final stage of work," Krikalev added.
Article sourced from the Russian news agency, TASS.