Kazakhstan seizes property of Russian space company for unpaid debt
Astana, Mar 14 (EFE).- Kazakhstan on Tuesday seized the property of a company belonging to the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, which operates at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, for non-payment of debts.
“As the Russian company evidently did not voluntarily pay the demanded sum, its property in Kazakhstan was seized,” Kazakhstan’s Minister of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry, Bagdat Mussin, said during a government session.
Bayterek, the claimant company, demanded that the Center for the Operation of Space Ground Infrastructure Facilities (TsENKI) refund the amount paid for an environmental analysis at the Baikonur Cosmodrome that the Roscosmos-dependent company never carried out.
The arbitration court of the Astana International Financial Center ruled in favor of Bayterek last November, ordering TsENKI to pay 13.684 billion tenge (more than $30 million). The company received in January notice of the sentence but the debt remained unpaid.
The Kazakh minister added that the embargo “does not affect the Baikonur facilities, leased to Russia and under Roscosmos control, but only the property on Kazakh territory belonging to TsENKI.”
Mussin added that TsENKI managers are currently in Kazakhstan negotiating with Bayterek representatives.
Russia has a lease agreement for the Baikonur cosmodrome with Kazakhstan until 2050 costing 7.4 billion rubles ($98 million) per year. EFE