Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Russia threatens to cancel Baikonur finance in 2016

Baikonur, an international spaceport, was built in 1955.

Russian Ministry of Finance are threatening to stop financing Baikonur cosmodrome in 2016, Izvestia newspaper reported Friday citing a source in Roscosmos.

An official from the Federal Space Agency was quoted as saying "In previous versions of draft budget for 2016 it was planned to allocate a $705 million (2.5 billion rubles) subsidy for Baikonur maintenance."

"The money was supposed to be spent on salaries and field maintenance. We asked for more. But when our representative in Ministry of Finance was shown the final draft there was zero."

According to the newspaper, this could mean the specialist teams at Baikonur will be left without financing.

The report also said that Ministry of Finance allegedly made the decision due to the construction of the new Vostochniy cosmodrome, which will now receive the money that previously went to Baikonur.

Baikonur, an international spaceport, was built in 1955. Russia leases Baikonur from Kazakhstan for $115 million annually. The current lease contract between the two countries expires in 2050.

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