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Russia sanctions $106mn loan to Soyuz producer

Preparations continue for the launch of Progress M-01M cargo vehicle under the International Space Station programme. Baikonur launch site, branch office of SPKorolev RSC Energia

MOSCOW (BNS): Russia's state-run bank Sberbank has released loan worth $106 million to Energia Space Corporation for its spacecraft construction project.

With funds in its kitty, the company now expects to complete the project for developing cargo spaceships and Soyuz manned spacecraft used for missions to the International Space Station (ISS). The loan has a time span of two years.

SP Korolev Rocket and Energia Space Corporation announced that the deal to get the loan was clinched on November 14.

The leading Russian aerospace giant had been pressing for more funds for quite sometime. The company had said that it would not be able to produce more Soyuz spacecraft in future if loan was not granted.

However, it was not easy for the government to fund its key space project due to the current financial crisis. The liquidity crisis in the market had sealed credit limits of banks.

The company said it would spend the loan amount during the first year of construction, adding it would take another two to three years for the project to materialise.

Energia develops aerospace hardware. It had produced erstwhile Soviet Union's first satellite, the Vostok manned spacecraft and the Mir orbiting space station.

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