Russia and Luxembourg agree cooperation for asteroid mining

Luxembourg’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, Étienne Schneider, led a Luxembourg delegation to Moscow to attend the 11th session of the Joint Economic Cooperation Commission between the Belgo-Luxembourg Economic Union (BLEU) and the Russian Federation.

Minister Schneider was accompanied by a commercial delegation led by representatives of the Chamber of Commerce. Acting as co-ordinating institution, the Commission is composed of representatives of the Russian, Belgian and Luxembourg authorities in charge of economic and trade relations in their respective countries.

The discussions in the Joint Committee included strengthening cooperation in the field of innovation and identifying synergies in a multitude of economic sectors. In order to consolidate joint research and development of new technologies, Minister Schneider and his Russian counterpart, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, have agreed to create a “Council for Scientific and Technical Cooperation” in which environmental technologies, mining technologies in extreme conditions and space technologies. At their meeting, Minister Schneider and Dmitry Rogozin agreed on scientific cooperation in the field of space, including aspects related to the extraction and use of natural resources of celestial bodies that subscribe to the initiative.

In order to promote exchanges between the two countries, Minister Schneider and Dmitry Rogozin also discussed the possibility of restoring a direct air link between Luxembourg and Moscow. A direct flight would not only meet the needs of many Luxembourgish companies active in Russia and vice versa, but would also have a positive impact on tourism in both directions.

On the sidelines of the BLEU-Russia Joint Commission, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Luxembourg National Agency for Research and Innovation (Luxinnovation) and the Russian Innovation Centre, the Skolkovo Foundation, with the aim of strengthen cooperation in the field of innovation and new technologies.