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Russia’s most senior lawyer, its Prosecutor General, Mr Yury Chaika, says the 250 or so companies which collectively are building a brand-new rocket-launching spaceport have between them “lost” Rub 7.5 billion (€115m) in theft.
The Moscow Times says that investigators conducted a massive investigation into corruption and mismanagement at the site of the new Vostochny Cosmodrome, a $3 billion project seen in Moscow as vital to secure Russia’s independent access to space.
President Vladimir Putin on a visit to the construction site last year warned contractors that law enforcement agencies were monitoring the use of state funds and that charges would be brought for malpractice.
No arrests were reported in connection with the latest findings, but since Putin’s visit to the cosmodrome in September a handful of officials have been arrested for stealing or squandering state funds allocated for the project, including the head of a major state contractor on the site, Dalspetsstroi.
The new cosmodrome is scheduled for completion by November 30th, just in time for a first launch from the spaceport in December, but construction is reported to be several months behind.