No information on putting off signing Kourou cosmodrome agreement

The Russian delegation has no information on putting off the signing of the Russian-French agreement on launching Russian Soyuz booster rockets from the Kourou cosmodrome in French Guiana.

"I have no information that the date of the signing of the document may be put off", a source in the Russian delegation told RIA Novosti.

Russia's Vice-Premier Boris Aleshin is now staying in Paris. It was supposed earlier that the agreement would be signed within this visit.

According to the source, the talks have not been completed yet. "Work on the document's text is going on", the source said and noted that "it is not clear so far when the document will be signed".

The Rosaviakosmos officials claim that the agreement will not be signed this year. "The agreement will not be signed this year", head of the Rosaviakosmos press service Vyacheslav Mikhailichenko told RIA Novosti.

He explained that the financial component of the agreement has not been finalised yet. "A meeting of the European Union's commission at which the plan to finance the project can be approved is scheduled for December 3-5", Mikhailichenko said.

According to the preliminary information, France will pay up to 50 per cent of the expenditures on the project's implementation, Germany - about 6, and Switzerland - about 2 per cent.

Russia undertakes to build and maintain a starting complex on the Korou cosmodrome and to supply Soyuz booster rockets for putting European satellites of different destination in orbit.

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