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    MOSCOW, January 9. (RIA Novosti). At the talks in Astana Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan intend to sign an agreement on the Russian Spaceport Baikonur situated on the territory of Kazakhstan.

    One of the key themes at the talks will be the issue of deepening cooperation in the field of space exploration, effective use for these purposes of unique complex Baikonur, RIA Novosti was told by the source in the Kremlin.

    According to him, in plans of the meeting is the signing of the corresponding inter-state agreement.

    As a high-placed source in Rosaviakosmos told RIA Novosti, the issue under discussion will deal with the possibility of extending the leasing of Baikonur spaceport by Russia for a period of 50 years.

    It is expected that the lease fee to the tune of $115 million timely paid by Russia in line with the agreement of March 28, 1994, will remain the same. He recalled that in line with the agreement of 1994, the Baikonur spaceport was given to Russia on leasing terms for a period of 20 years with an option of extension.

    According to the source, in plans is also to discuss the issues of environmental safety of the territories adjacent to Baikonur.

    A major aspect of using Baikonur spaceport will be a project of building there a new complex for launching heavy-duty boosters Angara which use non-toxic fuel components.

    The sides are supposed to touch upon the issues of transferring a part of the military purpose launches from Baikonur to the Russian spaceport Plesetsk. Already now the greater part of launches in the interests of the Defence Ministry is done from the territory of Russia.

    The Baikonur spaceport was founded on February 2, 1955 when the USSR Council of Ministers took a resolution on setting up research testing ground No.5 which later became known to the public as Baikonur spaceport.

    Baikonur became the largest spaceport in the world. At present it covers the territory of 6,717 sq. km - 75km from north to south and 90 km from west to east.

    The ground-based infrastructure of the spaceport includes nine launching complexes (15 launchers), 11 assembly and testing works, three fuelling stations for fuelling space vehicles, and boosters with components of fuel and compressed gases; two airfields and an instrumentation complex.

    About 70 per cent of all launches of space vehicles from the territory of the Russian Federation are carried out from Baikonur.

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