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RUSSIA, AMERICA TO COPE WITH ORBITAL STATION PROBLEMS: AL GORE
CHICAGO, ILL., FEBRUARY 9

(from RIA Novosti correspondent Arkadi Orlov)--Russia and the USA are sure to cope with all problems in their joint effort for an international orbital station, US Vice-President Albert Gore said to the press in Chicago yesterday after the 8th session of the intergovernmental commission for economic and technological cooperation, known as the Gore-Chernomyrdin commission after its co-chairmen.

Mr. Gore's talks with Russia's Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin brought an understanding for Russian federal allocations to finish the station service unit assemblage. The commission co-chairmen made the assembly schedule more precise, and clarified which sums were to go to which contractors, and when. Mr. Chernomyrdin assured his US partner that Russia was willing to do everything possible for the ambitious space project to finish in time, by the year 2002. Both countries now have a precise and detailed list of the assignments still to be done, and deadends of each, said Mr. Gore.

Both sides will do their best to cope with the difficulties which arose when they fell behind the service unit assemblage schedule and the deadend had to be put off from April 1998 to end of November or start of December, says a joint statement signed in Washington, D.C., the day before. The Russian government pledged to allocate the necessary sums to the Russian Space Agency.

Another two Russian pilots will fly US Shuttles within this year, says the statement. Cosmonaut Helena Kondakova will come to the Mir station in May, and Vladimir Titov September. This latter expedition envisages the first-ever joint emergence into open space of a Russian and an American pilots out of the Shuttle. (but/var) -0-

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