Russia's move to leave the International Space Station (ISS) was initially slated for 2025. The invasion of Ukraine and resulting Western sanctions have accelerated this departure.
Bloomberg cites media reports from two Russian state news agencies — Tass and RIA Novosti — that head of Russia's space agency on Saturday announced Moscow will pull out of the ISS.
"The decision has been taken already, we're not obliged to talk about it publicly.
"I can say this only -- in accordance with our obligations, we'll inform our partners about the end of our work on the ISS with a year's notice," Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin said in an interview on state television.
Rogozin earlier in March "threatened to leave" the ISS over Western allies hammering Russia's economy with devastating sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine. This angered Moscow so much that they threatened to deorbit the ISS.
Rogozin's Saturday interview provided no timeline on when Russia plans to exit the ISS.
The timing of Russia's soon-to-be departure comes as Elon Musk's SpaceX can ferry astronauts to the station.
The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict and fracturing of Russia and US relations in space is evidence of a new bipolar world emerging. It has pushed Russia and China loser together where a new space race will take shape: The West versus Russia and China.