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Media speculations over Baikonur are absurd: Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister 25 января 2013, 12:46

According to him, the talks are under way to take concerted measures to fully unleash Baikonur’s potential and further its technological development.
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Baikonur. ©REUTERS Baikonur. ©REUTERS
Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov who is on a working visit to Moscow is surprised at media speculations over possible termination of space research cooperation at the Baikonur cosmodrome, he said in his interview for Russia’s kommersant.ru . “Russia is the largest space power. Therefore any speculations or statements that Kazakhstan is reportedly considering giving up on cooperation with Russia are absurd and complete nonsense. The talks are under way to take concerted measures to fully unleash Baikonur’s potential and further its technological development”, Mr. Idrissov said. The Foreign Minister stressed that media had misinterpreted KazKosmos National Space Agency Head Talgat Mussabayev’s words [on Kazakhstan allegedly edging away from cooperation with Russia]. “Sophisticated fields call for expertise. Journalists seem to have seen signs of Kazakhstan supposedly growing colder in its attitude to cooperation with Russia and even signs of forthcoming review of the cooperation conditions. We [the Foreign Ministry] raised our eyebrows when seeing the media speculations. The speculations were so absurd that it was hard to come up with the right response”, the Minister said. “Kazakhstan has ambitions of its own. We have launched two satellites. We are planning a group of satellites of our own. We do have plans to launch missile systems in partnership with Russia and other partners. In Kazakhstan there is a full-fledged national space agency and the agency head is fully aware of all the issues. These are healthy ambitions to gain maximum benefits of what we do have. That is what was meant. When there is so much equipment, brainforce, agencies involved, it is important to coordinate all the steps. That was the point”, the Minister elaborated. “I took the speculations in my stride. When the first media response to Talgat Mussabayev’s words emerged, I met representatives of Russian media and made clear explanations. Presidents of the two nations appreciate and maintain Baikonur as a symbol of our close and mutually beneficial cooperation. Bikonur is a future-oriented project. I hope such misleading speculations will no longer emerge”, the Foreign Minister said. Earlier TengriNews reported that the official Moscow demanded to explain what Mr. Mussabayev meant saying that Kazakhstan was having talks with Russia to stagedly edge away from Baikonur lease. Besides, December 28, 2012 the Kazakh Government approved a schedule of launches from Baikonur that outraged the Russian side. The number of Proton carrier rockets launches has been reduced from 14 to 12.
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