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Kazakh MP wants $1 billion in rent for Baikonur

17 june 2011, 12:41
©RIA Novosti
©RIA Novosti
Kazakhstan deputy is asking for a $1 billion rent for Baikonur space center located in Kazakhstan, Tengrinews.kz reports.

“Why nobody applies to the Government, to the President? Why no one is calling for explanations? Compared to the previous years (inter-government agreement on rental of cosmodrome was signed in 1994) the prices grew 5 to 10 times. That is why today the minimum rental price should be one billion (dollars),” said deputy of the Lower Chamber of the Parliament Amangeldy Momyshev.

In return, deputy chairman of Kazakhstan space agency Mairbek Moldabekov agreed with the deputy's claims and explained that Russia is paying $115 million in rent, but there are also other costs that amount to $200 million. Upon completion of construction of its own space launching center in the Far East, Russia will initiate termination of the Baikonur cosmodrome rent on its own, Moldabekov said.

Besides, MPs were inquired about Kazakh astronaut's spaceflight. Moldabekov explained, there are two problems that have to be solves. “The spaceflight is only possible at the expense of Kazakhstan and these funds have to be included into the budget. The second issue is that the flight to ISS (International Space Station) is only allowed to the station's owners. And these are 15 countries,” he said.

Kazakhstan, not being an owner of the station, does not have any rights, but there is a possibility to arrange a Kazakh astroanut's spaceflight to the ISS at the expense of Russia's quota which supports Kazakhstan. The only issue left is approval with the remaining 14 owners. This process may take several years.

By Maksim Popov

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