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    ROSAVIAKOSMOS BUDGET TO REACH 520 MILLION DOLLARS IN 2004 - YURI KOPTEV

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    MOSCOW, JANUARY 29 (RIA NOVOSTI) - Within the framework of the federal space program, the 2004 budget of Rosaviakosmos (the Russian Air Space Agency) will stand at approximately 15 billion rubles, or 520 million dollars, its general director Yuri Koptev said.

    "Our agency's 2004 budget, with account for all our partners in the federal space program and the program for replenishing the GLONASS satellite group, will be about 15 billion rubles," Koptev said.

    "The increase is weighty," he added.

    At the same time, the 2004 budget of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is approximately 15.4 billion dollars.

    "The space budgets of all our partners - the Japanese, Europeans and Chinese - each constitute at least two billion dollars," the Rosaviakosmos chief said.

    "Our budget is now comparable to that of India, which has orbited only two satellites last year," he specified.

    To him, in 2003 Russia made 21 launches under civilian and military programs.

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