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Kazakhstan And Russia Working On New Baikonur Cosmodrome Deal

The current lease arrangement for the Baikonur cosmodrome is set to expire in 2050. (file photo)
Kazakhstan and Russia are working toward a new agreement on the use of Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome.

The head of Kazakhstan's national space agency, Talgat Musabaev, told the Kazakh parliament on December 10 that Moscow and Astana are working on ending the current lease in several stages.

Musabaev says future cooperation should be on a lease-free basis.

Russia pays Kazakhstan $115 million annually for the use of the Soviet-built Baikonur launch pad.

That arrangement is set to expire in 2050.

Russia also spends $160 million per year operating the facility.

Baikonur is the only launch site in the world that is used to get astronauts to the International Space Station.

A three-man crew from the United States, Russia, and Canada is due to leave for the space station next week.

With reporting by KazTAG, Kazinform, AP, and Interfax