Moscow and Astana do not disagree significantly over Baikonur - Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has denied the existence of any serious rift between Moscow and Astana over the use of the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

"I would not speak of disagreements. I would not speak of any special meaning in our exchange of notes," he said at a press conference after talks with Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrisov in Moscow on Friday.

Lavrov offered his comment in response to reports that Russia expressed its protest over Kazakhstan's decision to reduce the number of launches of Russian Proton rockets from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

"Questions have certainly emerged, especially as such an enormous economic and industrial mechanism functions 24/7," he said.

"Among other aspects, questions have arisen over the number of launches amid Kazakhstan's concerns about the environmental impact of these processes. The Russian side has been doing everything possible to make Proton rockets more environmentally friendly," Lavrov said.

Russia previously sought Kazakhstan's additional approval of the number of space launches, the minister said.

"There is nothing sensational about this situation. It is a routine issue. Our presidents realize the need to sort out all such situations," he said.

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