Planned Russian cosmodrome shouldn’t impact Baikonur agreements, says Kazakh PM

November 22. Central Asia Newswire

Planned Russian cosmodrome shouldn’t impact Baikonur agreements, says Kazakh PMKazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov sees no alternative for Russia other than to use Kazakhstan’s Baikonur cosmodrome for the foreseeable future, the Russian Itar-Tass news agency reported Saturday.

Massimovwas referring to Moscow’s plans to build a new cosmodrome in the Russian Far East on the border with China that would lead it to sever its reliance on Baikonur.

But the Kazakh premier said the governments in Astana and Moscow have signed fixed accords and ratified interstate agreements on Baikonur, which Kazakhstan leases to Russia, “and we intend for our part to carry out them in full.

“New projects are very costly things. They require great resources and very long time,” Massimov told the news agency during an interview in St. Petersburg to discuss the customs union with Russian and Belarusian leaders.

Russia plans to spend $13.5 billion over the next three years on the Vostochny cosmodrome, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced in July.

Baikonur is the world’s biggest and busiest space center with 15 rocket launch pads and facilities for dozens of scientific, commercial and military missions by many countries.

Russia has leased the facility since 1994, three years after Kazakhstan became independent from the Soviet Union.

The launch site was built in 1955 to test Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles.