Russo-French agreement on launches of Soyuz space vehicles from Kourou

Next week Russia and France will sign an agreement concerning the launches of the Russian Soyuz space carriers from the Kourou lanching site in French Guyana. This was disclosed on Friday by Russian Vice Premier Boris Alyoshin, who is to sign the agreement in Paris.

According to Alyoshin, 50% of the project expenses will be covered by the French part and in December the EU will set the order of the project financing.

Within the next 5-6 years the project concerning the launches of Russian space carriers will bring Russian companies approximately 1 bln euros, the Russian Vice Premier stressed.

The issue of the Soyuz launches from Kourou within the framework of the Russia-EU co-operation, was on the agenda of the meeting in Moscow between Boris Alyoshin and EU's Commissioner for Research Philippe Busquin. The both sides have also discussed an issue concerning the prolongation of the Russo-French agreement on co-operation in the sphere of science and technologies for another four years, the Russian Vice Premier noted. The agreement was signed in 2000.

Alyoshin and Busquin have also discussed the problem of the adaptation of scientific researches in industry. "This process is complicated for Europe as well as for Russia," Alyoshin said. The issue concerning the possibility of access for foreign companies to the sphere of state purchases in Russia was discussed with Busquin as well, the Russian Vice Premier added.

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