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Russian deputy PM hopes to return some of stolen funds to Vostochny cosmodrome budget

November 02, 2015, 16:17 UTC+3 VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME
The aggregate damage to the state from the fraud during the execution of contracts, abuse of office by the contractors and falsification of figures exceeds $110 million
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© Mikhail Metzel/T

VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME, November 2. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has said he hopes to return to the budget of the Vostochny spaceport in Russia’s Far East some of the funds that were stolen during the construction. The aggregate damage to the state from the fraud during the execution of contracts, abuse of office by the contractors and falsification of figures exceeds $110 million. Back pays to construction workers are estimated at $500 million. A total of 20 criminal cases have been opened and 1,300 administrative proceedings launched.

"Knowing the essence of these criminal cases, I hope that it will be possible to return part of the funds to the cosmodrome’s budget. I mean the construction budget, the federal budget," Rogozin told reporters during a teleconference on Monday. He noted that the most important thing was to bring to court the numerous cases of theft at the construction site of the future spaceport.

The Vostochny cosmodrome is built near the settlement of Uglegorsk in the Amur region. The first launch of a carrier rocket is scheduled for next year. Tens of thousands of people work at the construction site. About 10 contractor companies were implicated in the financial irregularities. For example, in spring some subcontracting organizations received advance payments from Russia’s Federal Agency for Special Construction (Spetsstroy), then the money just disappeared due to the bankruptcy of these construction organizations.

The biggest criminal case has been opened against the former leaders of Dalspetsstroy (a branch of Spetsstroy). According to investigators, they stole nearly a quarter of the total funds allocated under 11 government contracts for the construction of the Vostochny cosmodrome’s facilities. As a result, the schedule of work at Vostochny was disrupted back between 2011 and 2013, which led to the non-compliance with deadlines outlined in a presidential decree under a number of federal programs.

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