MINSK, 21 January (BelTA) – Russia invites Belarus to set up joint ventures and integrated structures for exploring space technologies. Director General of the Russian state space industry corporation Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin made the statement after meeting with Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko, BelTA has learned.
Dmitry Rogozin said: “Today we are starting cooperation on a large scale. In the past there were talks about Russian integrated structures buying some Belarusian enterprises. I don't think it is the totally correct way of doing things. Because we will get mired in debates about value assessment and everything will come to naught as a result. Now we are not talking about buying some assets from each other but about multiplying these assets within the framework of joint ventures and integrated bodies. It is the way I like and the Belarusian head of state has approved of today.”
Dmitry Rogozin believes the establishment of such joint ventures with assistance of Belarusian OAO Peleng, OAO Integral, and a number of microelectronics design companies looks promising.
“Belarus is a very close partner of the Russian space industry from the business point of view. Belarusian OAO Peleng makes unique core equipment for a number of Russian space satellites, for instance, for Canopus to detect fire fronts despite heavy smoke,” the Roscosmos head said. “Belarus-Russia cooperation in this regard – and Aleksandr Grigoryevich [Lukashenko] has confirmed the Belarusian government's desire to seek closer partnership – will allow creating a series of satellites for the remote sensing of Earth using Belarusian optics equipment, which has already proven its excellent qualities.”
The Roscosmos head also sees opportunities for selling joint products on the market, for instance, products made by Russian VNIIEM and Belarusian Peleng. “They could team up to create a more powerful company, which could present in essence a unique satellite platform for the remote sensing of Earth on the European market and the world one. In the future it would be possible to create a seamless high-resolution map of Belarus, Russia, and the CIS states, with updates available every 1.5 hours,” he speculated. “A powerful data center, a smart computer to pool data from the orbital group will have to be set up, but it is the second step. We are just starting doing it.”
Dmitry Rogozin also stressed that Belarus had managed to preserve and considerably enhance the potential of OAO Integral since the Soviet times. “We know that today's Western intricate sanctions against Russia and Belarus affect microelectronics industry as well. In the last few years Belarus has managed to take a huge leap forward in creating design bureaus, develop information technologies, and design electronic components, for space industry at that,” Dmitry Rogozin added. While in Minsk he intends to meet with representatives of design bureaus for negotiations. “We will take a thorough look at the possibility of working together. First of all, we intend to provide Belarusian design bureaus with orders for designing space microelectronics,” he explained.
According to Dmitry Rogozin, an agreement on stepping up cooperation was reached during the meeting with the president of Belarus. “Now we are talking about the most important thing – creating stable partnership relations between those, who make core equipment, and those, who take care of the space platform and of inserting the satellite into orbit. It will be a good boon for economic development in Belarus while Roscosmos will be able to get rid of excessive administrative barriers, which are usually present in relations with Belarusian companies. We are going to enable direct cooperation,” he stressed.
Negotiations on the possibility of integrating the Belarusian company OAO Peleng with Roscosmos have been going on for quite some time. In 2014 Belarus and Russia agreed the market value of 100% of OAO Peleng's stock at $590 million. However, the sides failed to come to terms on other essential integration terms in the end. The Russian side failed to honor the main commitment regarding the development of proposals on OAO Peleng's participation in developing the scientific and manufacturing potential of Russia's space industry, in implementing projects for the research and development of space technology products as part of existing programs and new ones. The implementation of the project to integrate OAO Peleng into Roscosmos was virtually put on hold in mid-2015.