Russia has put pressure on Brazil to refuse to cooperate with Ukraine in the space industry, including the construction of a joint spaceport. This interview was announced by LB.ua by the head of the State Space Agency Volodymyr Usov.
“From what I heard from all participants in the process, Russia really… did its utmost to ensure that the project of a joint spaceport with Ukraine did not take place … Russia, as always, took advantage of all possible problems, mistakes that we have always made, and did so that this spaceport didn’t exist,” – he told.
Now, according to Usov, the Ukrainian space agency is actively negotiating with the Brazilian side to implement a joint commercial project to build a spaceport in Brazil.
“We need a commercial project where a Ukrainian industry company, an international investment fund, foreign – American, Japanese, European – corporations will be able to participate,” Usov said.
He also said that about $ 250 million, which Ukraine had to spend on the construction of the Brazilian spaceport, were in a preserved state at Ukrainian enterprises. At the same time, as Usov himself notes, the money is considered spent.
“$ 250 million – is the production of products under contracts by the Ukrainian side, and these products are located on the territory of our enterprises. Therefore, as a space agency, we asked each of them to confirm the availability of these products or work performed, to show what they have. We sent the letters a month ago. So far, we have two answers out of 20. Now we are actively involved in this matter,” the official added.
It will be recalled that in 2003 Ukraine and Brazil signed an agreement on long-term cooperation on the Alcantara spaceport construction project. The Brazilians undertook to create the infrastructure of the launch complex. Ukraine has pledged to develop a new launch vehicle for the spaceport, as well as a new generation of satellites. The first launch of the Ukrainian Cyclone-4 launch vehicle was planned for the end of 2014.
Active work on the construction of a ground complex at the launch center of Alcantara began only in 2011 and was conducted throughout 2012. Since March 2013, due to the cessation of funding from Brazil, construction work has been suspended and has not resumed since. In 2012-2014, Ukraine sent to Brazil by sea three consignments of technological equipment of the ground complex, created by its own forces.
Meanwhile, since the signing of the agreement with Brazil, a new Cyclone-4 launch vehicle has been created in Ukraine with credit funds, and a Dry Start factory complex has been built in Dnipro to test this type of launch vehicle before sending it to Brazil.
In 2015, the Ambassador of Ukraine was presented with a note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil on the denunciation of the agreement on long-term cooperation in the use of the Cyclone-4 launch vehicle. Under the terms of the agreement, Ukraine had the right to object to Brazil’s unilateral withdrawal from the project within a year, but this was not done. Russia offered Brazil to change Ukraine in cooperation and stated that our country “has lost its technology”.
On July 16, 2016, the Ukrainian-Brazilian agreement on the Cyclone-4 project, signed in 2003, expired.
In October 2019, President Volodymyr Zelensky discussed with the President of Brazil Jair Bolsonar the relaunch of a joint space project.