The United States' abandoning the antiballistic missile treaty will not tell on the implementation of the Russian state space programme, the RIA Novosti correspondent quotes the chief of the Russian Aerospace Agency (Rosaviacosmos) Yuri Koptev as saying on Tuesday. "We should not change anything in the state programme which we adopted earlier", he is sure. As regards Washington's intention to unfold a national missile defence system, Koptev voiced serious doubts over its prompt materialisation. "Firstly, it will take much time for American specialists to implement the NMD programme. Let's see how much it has been thought out: they have made only three launches under the programme, two of which flopped. Secondly, as regards finance the project will require 60 billion dollars. Will the next administration, which may assume office in less than four years, agree to spend the sum on the NMD? In its time, 24 billion dollars was spent on the much-advertised Reagan Star Wars programme. What has it ended up with?" Simultaneously, the Rosaviacosmos chief spoke up for developing an additional Russian national programme "which would be a deterrent factor for the new American military space doctrine".
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.