Russia to Step up International Space Cooperation

Rosaviakosmos will hold negotiations to enhance space cooperation with the USA, China, and Belarus, the space agency reported.

"A programme for the further construction of the International Space Station (ISS) will be discussed with US experts. NASA representatives will take part in the launch of the Soyuz TNA-2 manned shuttle to the ISS in the Baikonur space centre on April 26th. It will be the 7th space expedition," Rosaviakosmos stated.

Russian experts will meet representatives of the Chinese space agency in May. The sides will examine joint projects. Rosaviakosmos experts will consult Chinese colleagues on the first flight of a Chinese cosmonaut in October 2003.

Rosaviakosmos hopes for implementing a joint space programme with Belarus. "The programme is expected to be finalised in May to be financed in the first quarter onwards," the agency said.

Rosaviakosmos stated that the extra financing of the agency's space programmes approved on Thursday would enhance business cooperation with foreign countries.

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