MOSCOW, October 14. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin makes on Wednesday a working trip to the Far Eastern Amur region to inspect construction work at the Vostochny spaceport, the Kremlin press service said.
It said the president would examine the technical and launch facilities and then would chair a session on the development of the Russian spaceport.
President Putin wants to see what has been done to catch up with the construction schedule, president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.
Peskov said Putin was flying to Blagoveshchensk later in the day. "It is a routine inspection trip," he said, adding that the Vostochny space centre was Putin’s pet project and the president was personally controlling the construction.
"There were very serious problems, the construction lagged behind the schedule. Now the situation has been improved. And the president wants to see it by himself," the spokesman said.
After a visit to the construction site, Putin "will have a conference with the government members who supervise the construction and with the contractors to discuss issues linked with the construction works, preparations for the first launch, and, naturally, issues of social maintenance of those who take part in the construction works," Peskov said.
Besides, Putin will met with the director general of SIBUR company, Dmitry Konov, to discuss construction of a new gas processing plant in the Amur region. SIBUR is a Russian gas processing and petrochemicals company headquartered in Moscow.
The Vostochy spaceport is being built near the Uglegorsk town in the Amur region. The complex will include two launch facilities, an aerodrome, cosmonauts’ flight training facilities, an oxygen-nitrogen plant and hydrogen plant, 115 kilometers of automobile roads and 125 kilometers of railways and other facilities. The first launch of a carrier rocket from the Vostochny cosmodrome was scheduled for December 2015 and the first launch of a manned spacecraft for 2018.
Construction works at the cosmodrome should be completed on November 30, 2015.
The president last visited Vostochny in September 2014, drawing attention to the fact that construction work was lagging behind the schedule. The president controls construction work and takes part in the settlement of problems emerging during construction work.
The row over back wages at the Vostochny spaceport construction site erupted at the end of March. President Vladimir Putin during the televised Direct Line question-and-answer session on April 16 said he and the workers on site would establish double control of the wage payment situation. He also declared that the Accounts Chamber, the Presidential Control Department and the Investigative Committee were pushing ahead with their own probes.
From the Amur region the president will head to Kazakhstan for a state visit. A summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Eurasian Economic Union is due in Kazakhstan on Friday. According to presidential aide Yuri Ushakov, Putin may meet in the capital Astana with some CIS leaders. In particular, he is scheduled for talks with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.