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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Seeks New Station Funds

Russia's struggling space program is seeking additional funds from the United States to help finance its obligations to the new International Space Station in exchange for services rendered, officials said Wednesday.

The latest discussions of money came during two days of meetings between officials from NASA and its Russian counterpart, which ended Tuesday, on the progress of the $60 billion station.

"We received indications that it is a possible area of interaction where we can provide some potential services for our partners," who can help Russia out with the addition of non-budget funds that can be used for the program, said Alexei Krasnov, deputy head of the Russian Space Agency's international cooperation department.

"That certainly would be helpful," he said. "We are certainly interested in getting progress in this area as soon as is practically possible."

The first two modules of the station are orbiting Earth, but no crew can take up residence until Russia finishes the living quarters, which are more than a year behind schedule and may not be launched until September.

NASA officials say Russia might be able to earn money by sending more equipment to the new station or by building more escape vehicles for the crew to return home.

The acute financial crisis has left most of the public sector in Russia badly underfunded.