Australia and Russia agree on creating joint space-launching complex

Australia and Russia have reached a compromise on basic issues of the agreement on constructing a joint commercial space-launching complex on the Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean, Ian Macfarlane, Australia's Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, announced on Tuesday, following his visit to Russia.

The agreement was signed in Moscow last December.

According to the Australian minister, the Russian government's particular concern was about whether Russian space technologies rights would be observed on the Christmas Island. The Moscow negotiations managed to work out the principles that would protect the Russian technologies' intellectual character and Australia's sovereign interests. Russia agreed on Australian authorities' right to examine all the technologies that would be imported in Australia, and the Australian side gave consent to the presence of Russian representatives during the examinations, Mr. Macfarlane reported.

The construction of the space-launching complex, which is to take about $450 mln, must begin in 2006.

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