| (2) THE 'MINSK AGREEMENT' (December 30 , 1991)|
The States Parties to the present Agreement,
NOTING the great significance of space science and technology for the development of the Commonwealth Member States,
RECOGNISING the need to combine efforts for effective space research and exploitation in the interests of the economy and science, as well as for defence capabilities and the maintenance of the collective security of Commonwealth Member States.
CONFIRMING the need for the rigorous observation of international Agreements and obligations in the sphere of space research and exploitation that were earlier entered into by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics,
CONSIDERING that the adoption of an Agreement on joint activities in space research and exploitation will serve the interests of signatory States
HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:
Joint activities in space research and exploitation shall be effected by States Parties to the present Agreement on the basis of inter-State programmes.
The implementation of inter-State programmes of space research and exploitation shall be coordinated by an inter-State Space Council, whose Charter is to be drafted by appointed representatives of the States Parties to the present Agreement. The Council's charter shall be approved by a decision of the heads of Government.
States Parties to the present Agreement may conduct independent programmes for space research and exploitation.
The fulfilment of inter-State programmes of space research and exploitation in the area of military and dual purpose (military and civilian) space facilities shall be assured by the joint strategic armed forces.
Inter-State programmes for space research and exploitation shall be financed by means of proportionate contributions by the States Parties to the present Agreement, and be implemented on the basis of existing space complexes and space infrastructure facilities and those in the course of being established (the Baikonur and Plesetsk cosmodromes, technical, launching and landing complexes, areas where separating fragments of rocket stages fall to the ground, space flight control centres, the cosmonaut training centre, coordinating and computing complexes, data reception and processing centres, arsenals and other facilities).
The use of the afore-mentioned infrastructure for conducting the independent programmes of the States Parties to the present Agreement shall be determined by separate Agreements among the interested States Parties.
Expenditure on the exploitation of existing space systems and on the establishment of new space systems for economic, scientific and military purposes and on the maintenance of the single testing base, as well as the return to be gained from space projects and the launch of space equipment which are carried out on a commercial basis shall be allocated proportionately among the States Parties to the present Agreement.
The States Parties to the present Agreement shall bear responsibility for their activities in space research and exploitation in accordance with terms and modalities to be defined in a special Agreement.
The States Parties to the present Agreement undertake to develop their activities in space research and exploitation in accordance with existing international norms, and to coordinate their activities aimed at settling international legal problems of space research and exploitation.
The States Parties to the present Agreement pledge to arrive at mutually agreed decisions determining the procedure for allocating the proportionate financing of inter-State programmes for space research and exploitation, for the provision of facilities, territory, material and energy resources, and for the compensation of damage associated with the use of space equipment, as well as regarding the procedure for the termination of the present Agreement by one or all of the States Parties.
The States Parties to the present Agreement pledge to provide the persons and facilities associated with the execution of inter-State space research and exploitation programmes with the necessary material and technical resources, to make payments pursuant to legislation, to pay taxes and to deal with welfare matters.
Beginning in 1992, they also pledge to make provision for the allocation of the funds necessary for the implementation of inter-State programmes when developing State budgets.
The States Parties to the present Agreement pledge to target the training of qualified specialists in higher education, the scientific research establishments and the Academy of Sciences so as to provide facilities in the space infrastructure with professional staff.
The States Parties to the present Agreement shall not make decisions or undertake actions entailing the interruption of the normal functioning of space centres and facilities in the space infrastructure situated on their territories.
They pledge to retain and to develop the existing scientific, technological and industrial potential for the design, testing and development of rocket technology within the framework of adopted inter-State programmes.
Other States may become Parties to the present Agreement with the agreement of the States Parties.
This Agreement shall enter into force upon signature.
DONE at the city of Minsk on 30 December 1991 in one original in the State languages of the States Parties to the present Agreement. The original shall be held in the archives of the Government of the Republic of Belarus, which shall provide the States Parties to the present Agreement with a signed copy.
For the Republic of Azerbaijan,
For the Republic of Armenia,
L. Ter Petrosyan
For the Republic of Belarus,
For the Republic of Kazakhstan,
For the Republic of Kyrgyzstan,
For the Russian Federation,
For the Republic of Tajikistan,
For the Republic of Turkmenistan,
For the Republic of Uzbekistan,