There are no ultimatums in Russia's note on Baikonur: Kazakhstan Foreign Ministry 24 января 2013, 19:01
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Kazakhstan and Russia are in a normal negotiations process on further cooperation in Baikonur cosmodrome and there is no need to make a boom over this issue, Interfax-Kazakhstan reports citing Kazakhstan Foreign Ministry.
“The note has indeed been sent by the Russian party. It is dated January 18. I don’t see any reasons to link this note to the visit of Kazakhstan Foreign Minister to Russia. There is a normal partnership process and all the issues concerning Baikonur cosmodrome are being discussed,” deputy head of the International Information Commission of Kazakhstan Foreign Ministry Zhambular Ussenov told Interfax-Kazakhstan on January 24.
“There is no rush here, no ultimatums. For example, the note says: “The Russian party proceeds from the need to continue the constructive work with the Kazakhstan party on the whole range of issues related to cooperation in Baikonur”,” he said.
“I would like to emphasize once again that this is a normal negotiations process, where every party stands up for its national interests with an ultimate understanding that Russian and Kazakhstan and old friends and allies,” Ussenov said.
“Using this opportunity I am calling all the media representatives not to create a fuss over this absolutely normal negotiations process. Far more complicated issues than joint use of Baikonur have been resolved over 21 years of cooperation between Kazakhstan and Russia. It’s clear that the issue is not simple. That’s why we are sure that the national interests of both Russia and Kazakhstan will be considered prior to solving all the issues and a constructive solution suitable for both parties will be found sooner or later,” he added.
Earlier Izvestiya newspaper reported that Russian Foreign Ministry sent Astana an official note on the situation around Baikonur cosmodrome prior to Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrissov’s official visit to Russia.
“In this situation Russia will be forced to reconsider its position in regards to expediency of continuing the bilateral cooperation in joint projects, including in Dnepr program and Baiterek joint project, considering the plans of switching it to Zenit carrier rocket, as well as other projects,” the newspaper cited the document.
The newspaper reminded that on December 28, 2012 Kazakhstan government approved the schedule of launches from Baikonur for 2013 causing an outrage of the Russian party. The number of approved launches of Proton rocket carrier from Baikonur was decreased to 12, while in 2012 this number stood at 14.
According to the newspaper, the protest note sent from Moscow to Astana also stresses that Kazakhstan government is illegitimate in its regulation of the number of launches. “Kazakhstan party dodges approving the launches that do not contradict the lease agreement and do not go above the agreed lessee’s rights. Russian views such decision as an attempt of Kazakhstan party to bypass Baikonur lease terms, in particular the obligation “to not hinder, directly or indirectly, the Lessee’s use of Baikonur complex for its main purpose,” the newspaper cited the document.