It's OK, Russia will Cooperate with US on Asteroid Threat

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As tensions rise in Eastern Ukraine and the conflict between Russia-backed separatists and Kiev becomes ever more bloody, political volleys between the old Cold War rivals have become increasingly aggressive.

But one question has yet to be addressed: If we spot an incoming asteroid, will information be shared between Russia and the US? We can breathe easy, at least according to Russian state media — the nation is willing to capitulate on this particular disaster scenario.

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“The exchange of information between crisis centers of Russia’s EMERCOM and the FEMA with respect to emergency situations on the territory of the United States and the Russian Federation has begun,” said an EMERCOM statement on Friday.

Generally, this “exchange of information” will cover large-scale natural and man-made disasters. As stated by RIA Novosti, both FEMA (which stands for Federal Emergency Management Agency) and EMERCOM (Russian Emergency Situations Ministry) “also agreed on cooperating to protect their populations and infrastructures from asteroid and comet hazards and on rescue work at mining facilities.” (Emphasis added.)

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This cooperation agreement seems to extend the Bilateral Presidential Commission published in 2012 (PDF) that outlines many international collaboration efforts, including the work between the major disaster response agencies. This agreement comes at a time when Moscow is becoming increasingly isolated by the international community.

Though the timing of this announcement is somewhat confusing to me, it serves as a reminder that space is the ultimate equalizer; it has no regard for our myopic politics or bloody conflicts. If an asteroid comes barreling our way, we’ll all have to work together to prevent catastrophic damage to our planet, regardless of race or national borders.

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But unfortunately, as Russian forces push into Ukraine (according to NATO), I think Moscow is disconnected from EMERCOM’s statement and far more interested in taking territory by force rather than striving for international collaboration and peace.

Perhaps this wouldn’t be such a bad time for the Cosmos to intervene.

Source: RIA Novosti