GORKI, June 13. /TASS/. Regaining leadership in space is a matter of prestige and national security for Russia, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, opening a meeting dedicated to the development of the Roscosmos State Space Corporation on Thursday.
"Today, we unfortunately don’t have many achievements to our credit but we need to regain leadership. It is not only a matter of prestige, it also concerns national security," Medvedev pointed out.
He also said that Thursday’s meeting would focus on the financial situation of Roscosmos and its subsidiary bodies because "given the various nuances, the situation requires the government’s attention and constant control."
Medvedev suggested that the meeting’s participants should report about the steps that had already been taken.
The prime minister pointed out that Russia had been the first country in space, surpassing most other countries in space research so it had no right to back down. According to Medvedev, Roscosmos was expected to play a leading role in this connection.
Poor utilization of budget funding
Medvedev has criticized the State Space Corporation Roscosmos for poor performance in utilization of budget funding.
"The situation is as follows: Roscosmos has utilized less than a quarter of allocated money, that is, about 22%," the prime minister said. "The state-run corporation should utilize about 200 bln rubles ($3.1 bln) more by year-end," Medvedev said.
Government contracts on manned flights are not performed, the prime minister noted.
"I regret saying that government contracts on manned flights are not performed and launch time for deployment are postponed continuously; I mean the Russian segment," Medvedev said.
The government invests huge funds into space exploration, he said. "Comparisons with foreign peers are certainly possible but one should understand we have our own financial capabilities and our partners and competitors have their own ones in certain aspects. This should be appropriately judged," Medvedev said.
Authorities wait for real return from allocated investments, he added.