Baku, Azerbaijan, April 3
By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:
Kazakhstan and Russia still plan to use Ukrainian carrier rocket Zenith at the joint space rocket complex Baiterek, Kazakh news agency Kazinform reported.
This announcement was made following the meeting of Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrisov with his Russian Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on April 3.
During the meeting the parties discussed bilateral space cooperation in detail, including interaction at the Baikonur cosmodrome and Baiterek space rocket complex.
"The Baiterek project should be continued. We have a common understanding that the current situation in Ukraine should not affect the Baiterek project," Idrisov said.
Lavrov in turn said that neither Russia nor Kazakhstan plan any changes in the Baiterek project, including rejection of Zenith rocket carrier.
The Baikonur Cosmodrome is the world's first and largest operational space launch facility. It is located in the desert steppe of Kazakhstan. It is leased by the Kazakh government to Russia (currently until 2050). Under the current Russian space program, Baikonur remains a busy space port, with numerous commercial, military and scientific missions being launched annually.
A contract on establishing the Russia-Kazakhstan Baiterek Joint Venture was signed in 2004. In early 2014 the parties agreed that Russia would get out of the Baiterek Complex lease and the complex would be handed over to Kazakhstan by January 2015. Kazakhstan will assume its maintenance costs of about $10 million. Meanwhile, both countries will operate the complex jointly since Kazakhstan doesn't have enough experience to do it on its own. At that time, the parties agreed that the space-rocket complex Baiterek will be implemented using the Zenith carrier.
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