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The fate of Baikonur

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The fate of Baikonur: Will Russia's space gates Open?

The current uncertainty surrounding space activities at Baikonur in 2013 may be eliminated on Wednesday when Kazakh prime minister, Kairat Kelimbetov, visits Russia to discuss several issues, including the famous cosmodrome. Meanwhile, officials are already working hard to assure the media that the situation is still a long way from being a crisis. The apparent scandal around the spaceport had been exaggerated, said Russian officials on Friday.

The fate of Baikonur, which is, without question, uncertain, may in fact, according to Russia's foreign affairs minister, Sergey Lavrov, be far from the disaster that many think. Last week a new controversy around Russia's main cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan, hit the headlines. The Izvestia newspaper published a note from the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry announcing the Kazakh Government's decision to cut the number of Proton launches in 2013 to 12 instead of the 17 requested by Russia. It went on to suggest that the move might threaten other joint Russian-Kazakh projects, such as the Baiterek and Dnepr programs.

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