MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia will continue to build up its potential in the space sphere, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.
"To meet all the challenges, it is necessary to build up our own potential. Russia provided independent access [to space] on the territory of our country by constructing the new Vostochny space center," Putin said at a gala dedicated to Cosmonautics Day.
Vostochny has been under construction in Russia's Far East since 2012 and is expected to reduce Russia's dependency on the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, which is on lease to Russia until 2050. Russia carried out a maiden space launch from the Vostochny Cosmodrome on April 28. It involved a Soyuz-2.1, a light class space rocket with three research satellites.