The United States, Canada, Japan and Member States of the European Space Agency have been working together, on the basis of the Intergovernmental Agreement of 29 September 1988 on the Permanently Manned Civil Space Station, to design and develop a space station as the next milestone in the exploration of space.
A dramatically changed international situation, in which Russia continues to play a constructive and responsible role in the international community, has created the opportunity to consider a landmark undertaking - the inclusion of Russia in the building of the International Space Station.
Meeting in Paris, 16 October 1993, the representatives of the Governments participating in the cooperative partnership to build and operate an international space station considered a proposal by the United States that Russia be invited to join in this endeavour. The Partners recognized that Russia, with its impressive record of accomplishments in space, including its wealth of experience in human space flight activities, could make considerable contributions to this programme. The Partners also recognized that Russian involvement in this programme would represent important progress toward their shared objective of building broad cooperative relationships with Russia.
The Space Station Partners Governments therefore wish to extend to the Government of the Russian Federation their invitation to collectively explore possible Russian partnership in the International Space Station programme.
To this end, the Partners have agreed to intensify their consultation process and have charged their respective cooperating agencies to work in concert to develop an integrated plan for Russian involvement in the International Space Station, for a decision by their respective Governments.