AMERICAN OneWeb satellite service has offered the game to Russia

A woman uses a computer keyboard in this photo illustration taken in Sydney June 23, 2011. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The U.S. satellite startup OneWeb, which plans to create a worldwide network with the help of satellites, said Friday that it is not the Russian government a stake in the project.

Sources had previously told Reuters that OneWeb had offered to sell 12.5 percent of the shares in Russia, a move it hoped would remove Moscow’s concerns about the company’s satellite network plan.

Russian Federal security service said in October it was against the OneWeb project to bring internet access to remote parts of the country, because the agency said that it could be used to collect information and damage to national security.

“OneWeb has not offered to sell an interest in OneWeb, the Russian Government,” the startup said on its website.

Russian state news agency TASS has quoted Russia’s minister of communications as saying that the government has not discussed such a deal with OneWeb.

The Virginia-based startup plans to create a network of 900 satellites, most of which it wants to send in a job using 21 Russian Soyuz launch vehicles from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and the Guiana Space Centre. The launch of the first satellite is scheduled for February 2019.

Reporting by Maria Kolomychenko, writing by Andrey Kuzmin. Editing by Jane Merriman

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