Moscow, Russia, 27 October 2006 – The Russian Parliament today ratified the Indo-Russian space cooperation agreement by a unanimous vote, clearing the way for the joint space exploration and transfer of space technology to India.
The draft Indo-Russian Space Cooperation Agreement ratified by Federation Council, the Upper Chamber of Russian Federal Assembly, had been signed in New Delhi during President Vladimir Putin’s visit in December 2004.
The agreement sets a streamlined system and identifies the mechanism for enhanced cooperation in peaceful exploration of space, including the protection of secret information and intellectual property rights and settling disputes. State Duma, the Lower House of Russian parliament, had ratified the agreement on October 20.
Once signed into law by President Putin in the wake of Parliament’s nod, the accord would speed up the joint collaboration in completing and operationalising the Global Navigational Satellite System (Glonass) to end the monopoly of the Pentagon-controlled US Global Positioning System (GPS), said sources at Russian Federal Space Agency ‘Roskosmos’.
During the then Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s Moscow visit earlier this year, Russian Defence Ministry had also agreed to give India access to Glonass’s military segment, used for guidance of smart weapons.
Under the Glonass agreement, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch Russian navigational satellites Glonass-M with the help of Indian space launch vehicles and jointly develop with Russia a new generation navigational satellite Glonass-K.