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Russian finance ministry eyeing 15% cuts in financing space programs — media

July 28, 4:19 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to Izvestia daily, the biggest cut - of 30% - will be in the Glonass program
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MOSCOW, July 28. /TASS/. Russia’s finance ministry has informed the top management of the state space corporation Roscosmos about plans to reduce financing of key space programs in 2017-2019, Russia’s Izvestia daily said on Thursday.

"Budget financing will be cut by an average of 15% The biggest cut - of 30% - will be in the Glonass program," the newspaper said. According to Izvestia, Roscosmos was informed about these plans by a letter of First Deputy Finance Minister Tatiana Nesterenko of July 21.

Thus, according to the letter, the ministry plans to allocate a sum of 98.3 billion rubles (1.49 billion U.S. dollars) on the implementation of the federal space program for 2016-2025 in 2017, 95.2 billion rubles (1.44 billion U.S. dollars) - in 2018, and 93.1 billion rubles (1.41 billion U.S. dollars) - in 2019.

As of today, the program envisages allocation of 104.5 billion rubles (1.59 billion U.S. dollars) in 2017 and in 2018 (last year, the finance minister insisted on freezing the spending at the 2016 level, so the figures are identical), and 117.6 billion rubles (1.78 billion U.S. dollars) in 2019.

The finance ministry is ready to allocate on the implementation of the federal Glonass program for 2012-2020 a sum of 26.7 billion rubles (406.2 million U.S. dollars) in 2017, a sum of 29.43 billion rubles (447.8 million U.S. dollars) in 2018, and 24.8 billion rubles (377.3 million U.S. dollars) in 2019.

The current edition of the program provides for allocation of 38.2 billion rubles (581.2 million U.S. dollars) in 2017, 41.8 billion rubles (636 million U.S. dollars) in 2018, and 36.5 billion rubles (555.3 million U.S. dollars).

The finance ministry has refrained from comments, the newspaper says.

Meanwhile, Roscosmos said reduced financing of the space budget will inevitably tell on space industry companies. Some will obviously have to postpone or even roll back reform and financial rehabilitation programs. "We understand that the situation in the economy is difficult but cuts in space programs will impact the implementation of all Roscosmos’ tasks," Igor Burenkov, a Roscosmos spokesman, told the newspaper. "However we will be ready to tell more details about the results of the budget reforms in the second half of September.".

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