The UK has rejected Russian demands for it to sell its share in internet firm OneWeb to allow a satellite launch.
A Soyuz rocket carrying 36 OneWeb satellites is on the launch pad at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Russia’s space agency Roscomos demanded guarantees the spacecraft would not be used for military purposes.
It then said it would not launch the rocket unless the UK sold its share in OneWeb – but business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng rejected this.
“There’s no negotiation on OneWeb: the UK government is not selling its share,” tweeted Mr Kwarteng.