Monday 06 february 2023 - 7:47:47 pm

UAE, Russia and Kazakhstan sign trilateral agreement pledging to launch a modernisation drive of the Baikonur Cosmodrome

DUBAI, 16th November, 2021 (WAM) -- The UAE, Russia and Kazakhstan signed a trilateral agreement pledging to launch a modernisation drive of the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site Gagarin Start – the world’s first spaceport for orbital and human launches.

The letter of intent was signed by the UAE Space Agency, the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry during the Dubai Airshow 2021, running from 14-18 November at Dubai World Central.

Salim Al Qubaisi, Director General of UAE Space Agency, signed the letter of intent alongside Sergey Saveliev, Deputy Director General of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), and Baghdad Mussin, Minister of Digital Development, Innovations and Aerospace Industry (Kazakhstan).

This lays down a framework to establish closer cooperation and collaboration in all space-related fields on the basis of equality, partnership and mutual interests. It will encourage the promotion of peaceful space exploration, sharing knowledge, expertise and establishing new ties.

All three countries will work together to launch joint projects including an ambitious bid to modernize the Gagarin Start launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Which Kazakhstan leases to Russia. Together, they will accelerate efforts to create a legal framework for the development of the spaceport as well as carry out joint activities to attract foreign direct investment in the launch site, which is named after Soviet-era cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, who became the first human to journey into outer space in 1961.

Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, UAE Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency, said: "The agreement between the UAE, Russia and Kazakhstan represents the aspirations of supporting the peaceful exploration of outer space. Russia and Kazakhstan have a proven record in the space industry, and we are pleased to lay the foundations for a closer cooperation between the three countries. The combination of expertise, experience and shared resources will accelerate progress towards a more competitive global space economy. Joint plans to work together to attract investment and modernize the historic Baikonur Cosmodrome demonstrate the potential for global cooperation that advances mutual interests in spaceflight, scientific progress, technological innovation and sustainable economic growth."

The trilateral agreement builds on the strong ties between all three nations. It comes weeks after the UAE Space Agency and Roscosmos signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Russian Pavilion in Expo 2020 Dubai to promote the use of outer space for peaceful purposes and tighten cooperation in priority areas.

Meanwhile, the UAE and Kazakhstan signed a strategic economic partnership in October to develop long-term strategic projects worth more than $6 billion in energy, agri-industrial, transport, logistics, pharmaceutical and financial sectors.

WAM/Tariq alfaham