26 Dec 2019 18:46

Kazakh president signs law on removal of 11,600 hectares of land from Russian lease

NUR-SULTAN. Dec 26 (Interfax) - Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has signed a law on the ratification of the protocol on changes to the contract for the lease of the Baikonur complex between the government of Kazakhstan and the government of the Russian Federation of December 10, 1994, the presidential press service said.

The protocol was signed in Chelyabinsk on November 9, 2017.

The protocol amends Appendix No. 2 to the contract for the lease of the Baikonur complex, which envisages the return of land parcels that have an area of 11,600 hectares from the Russian lease.

Kazakh First Deputy Agriculture Minister Aidarbek Saparov said earlier that four land parcels were being removed from the lease. The returned land parcels will be redistributed for the construction of facilities that have republican status, in particular, for the construction of the Western Europe - Western China international transit corridor, the Almaty-Moscow railway, and the linear part of the gas pipeline Beineu-Shymkent, as well as the development of the settlement of Toretam in the Karmakshynsky district of the Kyzyl-Orda region.

At the same time, the removal of these sites does not envisage a reduction in the annual lease for Russia, Saparov said. The document will not have any negative socio-economic and legal issues and will not require the provision of extra funding from the Kazakh budget, either.

Russia leases the Baikonur complex from Kazakhstan. The complex comprises the city of Baikonur and Baikonur Cosmodrome. The city has a population of over 76,500 people, of which some 60% are citizens of Kazakhstan and some 37% are citizens of Russia. The head of the Baikonur administration is appointed by the presidents of Russia and Kazakhstan.

The city has Russian authorities, including the city administration, municipal enterprises and establishments, and law enforcement structures.

Kazakhstan has a special presidential representative in Baikonur and representatives of its defense and security structures, via whom coordination and interaction takes place between Russian and Kazakh bodies of state authority and ministries.