Russia fights against Kazakhstan Ecological Code at Baikonur: Mussabayev25 june 2014, 02:49
Russia opposes introduction of the Ecological Code of Kazakhstan at Baikonur Cosmodrome, Tengrinews correspondent reports citing the Chairman of KazCosmos National Space Agency Mussabayev as saying at today's government meeting in the lower chamber of the Parliament.
Baikonur Cosmodrome is the first and the largest operational space launch facility in the world. Though located in Kazakhstan, it is rented by the government of Russia until 2050, is managed by Russian agencies and is considered a Russian territory.
Kazakhstan's attempts to extend its Ecological Code to Baikonur have been meeting "incredible resistance" during the last couple of years as Talgat Mussabayev put it.
A few days ago Russia and Kazakhstan reached an intergovernmental agreement on ecology at Baikonur cosmodrome. However, even with the negotiations competed, Mussabayev said that the Russians were still opposing the process.
He explained that Russia was pressing Kazakhstan to open up a new impact area - Number 120 in Northern Kazakhstan – as a condition for it to sign the agreement. This would allow the Russians to launch Soyuz rockets from Baikonur. However, Kazakhstanis oppose this. Vice-Speaker of the Lower Chamber Dariga Nazarbayev said that opening up of the impact zone in Northern Kazakhstan could not be allowed because “it is a fertile farming land” and the “breadbasket” of Kazakhstan.
Mussabayev complained that Russian was preventing the development of Kazakhstan's Baiterek project. The projects aims at securing transition from Proton carrier rockets to the environmentally more friendly Zenit.
A year ago, Russia’s Proton-M crashed right after the lift-off from Baikonur cosmodrome causing an estimated damage of $90 million.
Reporting by Assel Satayeva, writing by Dinara Urazova