The Russian government has confirmed that it will be formulating a cunning plan to prevent a large asteroid known as Apophis from colliding with Earth in 2036.
"A scientist recently told me an interesting thing about the path [of an asteroid] constantly nearing Earth," Roscosmos chief Anatoly Perminov explained in a statement cited by RIA Novosti.
"He has calculated that it will surely collide with Earth in the 2030s."
However, Perminov emphasized that the Kremlin was not planning a nuclear strike against the potentially dangerous asteroid.
"No nuclear explosions [will be carried out], everything [will be done] on the basis of the laws of physics."
He added that Russia could eventually invite experts from the US, Europe and China to participate in the nascent project.
"People's lives are at stake. We should pay several hundred million dollars and design a system that would prevent a collision, rather than sit and wait for it to happen and kill hundreds of thousands of people."
Nevertheless, it should be noted that Perminov's dire predictions seem to be at odds with a recent statement published by NASA which downplayed the likelihood of an Earth-Apophis collision.
"Updated computational techniques and newly available data indicate the probability of an Earth encounter on April 13, 2036, for Apophis has dropped from one-in-45,000 to about four-in-a-million," NASA said in October.