Russia needs to restore leadership in space: PM

A Proton-M carrier rocket blasts off from the launchpad at the Baikonur cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan on May 31, 2019. (ROSCOSMOS PHOTO). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MOSCOW, Jun 14, 2019, Xinhua. Russia, a pioneer in space, has no right to give up its positions and needs to restore its leadership, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday, reported the Xinhua.

“This is not only a matter of prestige, but also a matter of national security,” Medvedev said, opening a meeting of senior government officials on the development of the Roscosmos state space corporation, according to an official transcript.

He said that the Russian government was investing heavily in space exploration and it expected returns.

According to Medvedev, the government had channeled about 260 billion rubles (4 billion U.S. dollars) for space programs in 2019, most of which had reached Roscosmos, and before the end of the year, it will be allocated another 200 billion rubles (3 billion U.S. dollars).

However, Roscosmos has so far used only 22 percent of the allocated money, which may result in incomplete use of the existing industrial capacities and failure to comply with various deadlines, Medvedev said.

He noted that the state contracts for manned space flights have not been fulfilled and the deadlines for launching modules for the deployment and operation of the Russian segment of the International Space Station have been constantly put off.

Roscosmos and federal structures have to solve these issues taking into account economic sanctions and other restrictions imposed on Russia, Medvedev said.

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