Late Tuesday the US Government, the defendant in SpaceX’s EELV lawsuit, formally filed a motion with the US Court of Federal Claims to lift the injunction the court issued last week blocking the government from purchasing RD-180 rocket engines from Russian company Energomash. The government provided letters from the Departments of Treasury, Commerce, and State that demonstrate “purchases from or payments to NPO Energomash would not directly or indirectly contravene Executive Order 13,661,” the order that levied sanctions against several officials, including Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.
The letters from Treasury and State argue that while there may be a “potential basis” for sanctions to be triggered, the order requires the departments to “make an affirmative determination to trigger blocking under the ‘controlled by’ provisions of the [court] order,” in the words of the State Department letter. Since the government has not made a formal determination that Rogozin controls Energomash, the departments concluded that payments to and from Energomash are not in violation of that executive order. (The Commerce Department deferred to Treasury and State in its letter.)
In the government’s motion, it requested “expedited consideration” of the request. As of early Tuesday evening, the court hasn’t acted. However, a spokesperson representing SpaceX emailed late Tuesday afternoon, before the motion was filed, that the company expected the court to lift the injunction “as early as today.”