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Russians Ratify Baikonur Agreement

Russian President Vladimir Putin (2nd R), his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev(L), and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov (3rd L) listen to the explanations of the chief of the 'Roskosmos' Federal Space Agency Anatoly Perminov (R) at the Baikonur cosmodrome, 02 June. Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Baikonur for celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the famed cosmodrome, once a crown jewel of Soviet science and now a lifeline to the ISS. AFP Photo / Presidential Press Service / Itar-Tass.

Moscow (UPI) Jun 08, 2005
Russia's upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, ratified an agreement with Kazakhstan Wednesday to use the Baikonur cosmodrome.

The agreement was backed by all the 129 members of the Federation Council present at the session, the Russian Interfax news agency reported.

The agreement grants Moscow the right to lease the Baikonur cosmodrome - 330 miles to the southwest of the Kazakh capital of Astana - until 2050, the Federation Council said in a statement. Russia pays an annual rent of $115 million for the cosmodrome.

The agreement also stipulates the maintenance of ecological security at the cosmodrome, the Federation Council said.

The agreement provides for the creation of the Baiterek rocket and space complex at Baikonur for Angara boosters - new Russian heavy launch vehicles.

Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, has also ratified the agreement, signed in January 2004 by the presidents of Russia and Kazakhstan, Vladimir Putin and Nursultan Nazarbayev, May 25.

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Baikonur Seen As Critical To Russian Military
Moscow (UPI) Jun 07, 2005
Russian space officials said they have no practical alternative at the moment to using the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, local media reported Monday.

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