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Russia to invest over 800 mln dollars for new spaceport: Putin


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MOSCOW (PTI): Russia will invest over USD 800 million to build a space centre in the Far East of the country for civilian space launches, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

"The government decided to allocate over the next three years 24.7 billion roubles (around USD 811 million) for beginning of the full-scale construction of the Vostochny (Eastern) Space Centre," Putin said in his televised remarks at a meeting with space industry officials.

The Vostochny Space Centre to be located in the Amur region bordering China will eventually replace the Soviet-era Baikonur cosmodrome, now on 30-year lease with Russia from Kazakhstan.

"I hope that the Vostochny Space Centre will become the first civilian national space centre, and would guarantee Russia full independence in space activities," he underscored.

Addressing the space officials at the 'Energia' spacecraft plant in Korolyov town near here, Putin also vowed to develop international cooperation in space and announced the cabinet decision to allow foreigners access to the top secret facility for this.

"It is important that the new space centre will provide service for all prospective space projects, including a manned transport system, new generation boosters and future interplanetary missions," he said.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Chief of the Federal Space Agency Roscosmos Anatoly Perminov said up to 30 thousand specialists would be employed for building Vostochny cosmodrome and the construction of the space center will boost the industrial capacity of the Far East and encourage the flow of investment into the region.

Putin also said the government will invest 100 billion roubles this year (over 3 billion dollars at current rate of exchange) for the development of space industry, including global navigational system GLONASS.

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