MOSCOW, September 21 (RIA Novosti) - Belarus plans to create its own space agency, and will consider specialists' proposals by the end of the year, Russia's space agency quoted a Belarusian official as saying.
Roscosmos quoted Mikhail Myasnikovich, president of National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, as saying the creation of a new agency is part of the national space research program for 2008-12.
The agency did not say when the comments were made.
Myasnikovich said the Academy of Sciences was preparing proposals on the agency, which will be submitted to the government by the end of the year.
"The new structure will deal with all matters pertaining to the study and use of outer space, including a new Belarusian satellite, due to be launched next year," Myasnikovich said.
Belarusian news agency Belta reported earlier this month that a satellite would be put into orbit in April 2010.
At the time, Myasnikovich was quoted as saying that Belarus was building "a space fleet" to provide essential "data to users at any time."
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).