Apparently unchastened by the wave of protests that accompanied recent failed attempts to force through land reforms, Kazakhstan is now mulling renting large areas of land to Russia to accommodate falling rocket debris.
The plan has already drawn criticism.
Deputy Investment and Development Minister Albert Rau told Nash Kostanai newspaper on July 3 that the government plans to lease 630 square kilometers for $460,000 per year.
When rockets are launched from the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan, stages of the rocket containing engines and propellant are jettisoned in the first few minutes of flight, typically over empty and barren steppe.
Rau said parliament is working on ratifying an agreement with Russia on the lease agreement.
Under the proposed arrangement, sections of launched rockets will now fall in areas to the northwest of the city of Zhezkazgan, which is situated almost bang in the middle of the country.
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