Russian state space corporation Roscosmos demanded that the UK government give up its shares of OneWeb before an upcoming satellite launch, state-run news agency Tass reported on Wednesday.
The British government must quit being a shareholder of the UK-based OneWeb for the launch of the company’s communications satellites via a Russian Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket on Saturday, Roscosmos said in a statement, according to the report.
"Owing to Great Britain’s hostile attitude towards Russia, the British government's withdrawal from OneWeb's shareholders is yet another condition for the launch of satellites on March 5," it added.
Roscosmos argued that refusing to launch the satellites would not harm it economically since it had already been paid to build the rockets and boosters.
It added that the satellites, located at the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan would remain there until the situation is resolved.
The UK-based OneWeb's low-orbit satellites, which are initially planned to be a 648-satellite constellation, are designed to establish a space-based communications system to provide high-speed internet access around the world.
All OneWeb satellites were placed into orbit by Russian Soyuz carrier rockets.