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Russia’s Roskosmos Space Agency may consider reducing the number of Proton launches from Baikonur after 2015 29 января 2013, 23:30

We have a clear agreement with Kazakhstan on launches from 2013 to 2015 inclusive: Roskosmos Head Vladimir Popovkin.
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© RIA Novosti © RIA Novosti
Russia’s Roskosmos Federal Space Agency doesn’t rule out a possibility to reduce the number of Proton carrier rocket launches from Baikonur starting from 2016; however, the issue is subject to talks, RIA Novosti reports, citing Roskosmos Head Vladimir Popovkin as saying. “We have a clear agreement with Kazakhstan on launches from 2013 to 2015 inclusive. Should we consider any cutting down on the number of launches, we are ready to do so through negotiating”, Mr. Popovkin said. December 28, 2012 the Kazakh Government approved a schedule of Proton-M carrier rocket launches from Baikonur. The number has been reduced from 14 in 2012 to 12. Russia had been originally planning to carry out 17 launches. Earlier a number of media had reported that Russia and Kazakhstan might terminate space cooperation over restriction of the number of Russia’s launches from Baikonur. The Russian Foreign Ministry’s note read that the official Moscow would revisit its stance on further cooperation within joint projects. However, January 25 when commenting on the note sent by his Ministry to Kazakhstan in relation to the reduced number of Proton carrier rocket launches from Baikonur, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that “I wouldn’t tag the situation a dispute (…) There is nothing outstanding in exchange of notes. Exchange of notes is a regular practice on a wide range of issues that are likely to arise given the large scale of cooperation between Kazakhstan and Russia”. Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister supported his counterpart, saying that “there is no scandal, no sensation, no rows between Kazakhstan and Russia over Baikonur. I’ve seen many comments and keen interest of the media (…) misleading stories have been multiplied. I even saw some headlines stating that Baikonur is an apple of discord between Kazakhstan and Russia. I want to emphasize that nobody can have Russia and Kazakhstan having rows”.

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