Russia to pay $460,000 to Kazakhstan for using the drop zone

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has approved a preliminary draft agreement with Kazakhstan on launches of Soyuz rockets from Baikonur along "the northern trajectory."

"To entrust Roscosmos and the Russian Foreign Ministry with holding negotiations with Kazakhstan and signing the agreement on behalf of the Russian government upon the achievement of consent, with the right to make insignificant amendments to the draft," says the government resolution signed by Medvedev and published in the databank of normative legal acts of the Russian government.

The draft agreement said that rocket fragments would fall over the Aktyubinsk and Kustanai regions in Kazakhstan.

"A fee for using the drop zone shall be set at annual $460,000 irrespective of the number of Soyuz launches," the draft said.

Three launches along "the northern trajectory" were permitted in 2012 but only two were made. Three more launches are scheduled for 2013.

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