Russia to launch Proton without Kazakhstan's consent 24 сентября 2013, 18:33
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Russia will launch a Proton carrier rocket from Baikonur cosmodrome without Kazakhstan’s consent, Izvestia writes.
Roscosmos (Russian Space Agency) has officially notified Kazakhstan that a Proton rocket will be launched on September 30. According to the source in the Space Agency, the launch is going to be made in compliance with the Baikonur Rental Agreement between Russia and Kazakhstan.
Roscosmos has failed to obtain an approval for the launch from the Kazakhstan Environmental Protection Ministry. Earlier Minister Nurlan Kapparov said hat the launch of the Proton scheduled for September 15 would be postponed until completion of the territory’s cleanup after the recent massive accident involving a Proton booster at Baikonur.
“All the works on decontamination of the polluted territories at Baikonur have been completed. Our Kazakhstan partners are aware of it, but they are not in a hurry to permit the launches. In our view, the reason is not that we have failed to do something. This is how they are trying to pressure us,” the source in Roscosmos said.
The Environmental Protection Ministry of Kazakhstan has not made any statements on completion of the decontamination works so far. However, according to the newspaper, Akim (Governor) of Kyzylorda oblast Krymbek Kusherbayev mentioned completion of the works on September 20.
The experts believe that escalation of the conflict around the cosmodrome is against the best interests of both Kazakhstan and Russia. “The partners should not be teasing each other; they have to strictly observe the international agreements. Especially since Russia can potentially use Vostochnyi cosmodrome to replace Baikonur. Exacerbation of the relations would first of all harm the development of Baikonur itself,” the research advisor of the Space Policy Institute Ivan Moisseyev said.
Launches of Proton carrier rockets were suspended after the accident that took place on July 2, when Proton-M exploded 39 seconds after the launch and fell 2.5km away from the launch pad.