Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov said June 15 that Kazakhstan has given Russia permission to resume launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome while the two countries attempt to resolve a dispute over the drop zone for debris from Russian carrier rockets, Russia’s state-owned RIA Novosti news agency reports.
The dispute prevented Russia from launching Europe’s Metop-B polar-orbiting meteorological satellite May 23 and a cluster of satellites June 7. After talks with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Massimov said, “We agreed that Kazakhstan gives Russia permission for these launches.”
In order for the drop zone to be used, Kazakhstan says, the two sides must sign an additional agreement to the Baikonur rent agreement. Russia leased the launch facility from Kazakhstan for $115 million per year until 2050.