ALMATY, Kazakhstan — Russia may suspend its lease for some facilities at the Baikonur space complex in Kazakhstan, opening the way for its joint administration by the two countries, a senior Russian space official said.
The launch pad for satellite-deploying Zenit rockets at the complex will be the first facility to be reviewed, Russian Federal Space Agency deputy head Sergei Savelyev told Ivzestia in an interview published Thursday.
Baikonur is a sprawling complex in the remote south of the oil-rich Central Asian nation. It holds 15 launch pads, including the one used by the Soyuz spacecraft traveling to the International Space Station.
Kazakh statements about the complex had provoked speculation that it was seeking higher rental payments, but officials seem mainly intent on expanding the country’s own space industry.