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Russia, Kazakhstan agree on three-year Baikonur roadmap
by Staff Writers
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Dec 26, 2013

Launch of light version of Soyuz postponed until 2014 - source
The first test launch of the new Russian light rocket Soyuz-2.1B from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk region has been postponed until 2014, a source at the cosmodrome has said. "The decision to stop the pre-launch preparations and postpone the launch was made virtually ten minutes prior to the time of the expected launch," the source said. (VOR)

Russia and Kazakhstan have signed a roadmap pertaining to the joint use of the Baikonur Space Center in 2014-2016.

Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov and Kazakh First Deputy Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev signed the document on the sidelines of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council's meeting, an Interfax correspondent reports.

The period of the Baikonur leasing was extended until 2050 in 2004, with an annual fee of $115 million.

Putin to take part in session of Supreme Eurasian Economic Council
Eurasian Supreme Economic Council is expected to have a session at the level of the heads of state in Moscow on Tuesday. The list of attending Presidents includes Vladimir Putin of Russia, Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia, and Almazbek Atambayev of Kyrgyzstan, as the latter two countries filed applications for joining the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Community (Eurasec).

Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov is also due to come to Moscow.

The leaders of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus will consider the roadmaps for Armenia and Kyrgyzstan's joining the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Area. At the moment, the Customs Union encompasses Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia.

Putin's aide Yuri Ushakov said Monday he did not rule out that a Program of Action regarding Armenia might be endorsed at the session. "Experts are working very intensely now on preparing the examination of Armenia's application -- maybe even at a faster pace than they worked on the Kyrgyzstani application," he said

Ushakov indicated that the degree of readiness of the Kyrgyzstani Program of Action was smaller than that of the Armenian program. "A number of questions on Kyrgyzstan still exist," he said.

The heads of state will examine a draft treaty on the setting up of a Eurasian Economic Union, which is due to launch operations as of January 1, 2015. The institutional part of the document reflecting the international legal status, objectives and mechanisms of the union may be adopted at the session.

As for the functional part of the treaty, it will contain specific commitments of the founding states as regards the freedom of commodity, service, finance, and labor resources flows.

The treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union will be signed in May 2014 at the latest, after which it will be submitted to the national parliaments of the founding states for ratification.

The participating Presidents will seek to take decisions on a wide range of crucial issues, including some in the sphere of antitrust policy and protection of diligent competition. For this purpose, the Customs Union countries will relegate the powers to control trans-border markets to the Eurasian Economic Commission led by Viktor Khristenko.

A special college of judges will be set up at the Eurasec court to consider the cases of encroachments on unified trading rules.

In addition to this, the Presidents hope to endorse a list of sensitive commodities, the import fees for which will be established by the Eurasec Council, and to discuss a Eurasec draft budget for 2014.

Yuri Ushakov said the heads of state were planning to sign ten documents all in all and to appear in a joint news conference after the signing.

The summit will end with an informal New Year dinner.

The session in Moscow will be held on the background of a knotty economic and political situation. Last week, Russia took resolute steps to rescue Kiev from bankruptcy, as Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich signed a package of documents, one of them on cutting down the price of natural gas that Ukraine imports from Russia.

Also, a decision was taken to invest $ 15 billion from Russia's National Well-Being Fund in the Ukrainian securities.

Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov is due to come to Moscow from Kiev later in the day and join an expanded session of the Council.

Source: Voice of Russia


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Russia, Kazakhstan reach new agreement on Baikonur launch center
Moscow (UPI) Dec 24, 2013
The presidents of Russia and Kazakhstan say they have agreed on a three-year road map for the joint use of the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan. The announcement came following a meeting Tuesday of the two countries' presidents during a Eurasian economic summit in Moscow, RIA Novosti reported. "We are pleased with this latest meeting and it has been very productive," Russian P ... read more

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