Russia reaches out to Luxemburg for space exploitation

Russia and Luxemburg will hold negotiations on signing a framework agreement on cooperation in space research and use, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said on Wednesday.

The vice-premier who heads the Russian part of the joint commission for economic cooperation between Russia and the Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union noted that Luxembourg had been the first country to adopt legislation in the extraction of natural resources in outer space.

“They are interested [in cooperation with Russia in this sphere]… In January, we proposed signing a framework agreement with Luxembourg on cooperation in the use and exploration of outer space,” Golikova told journalists during the visit by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to the Grand Duchy.

Luxembourg has already appointed its head of the working group on drafting the agreement, the vice-premier said. “I expect them to confirm this via official channels in the immediate future and we will begin the corresponding talks,” Golikova said.

Replying to a question about whether the talk was about particular projects in the extraction of natural resources at space facilities, the Russian vice-premier said that legal regulation of this issue was absent in Russia and Moscow adhered to the legal regulation of space research adopted within the UN framework.

“That is why, we did not look for direct [interaction with Luxembourg] in the use of space resources and proposed to our colleagues a framework agreement on the use and exploration of outer space and we are going within the framework of the working group that will deal with the research component to work precisely on these issues – on how the legal regulation in this sphere can be applicable to Russia,” the vice-premier said.