Following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 the Russian space program continued to operate from Baikonur under the auspices of the Commonwealth of Independent States. In 1995, the city surrounding the spaceport was renamed Baikonur.

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On June 8, 2005 the Russian Federation Council ratified an agreement between Russia and Kazakhstan extending Russia’s rent term of the spaceport until 2050. The rent price – which is fixed at 115 million US dollars per year – is the source of a long-running dispute between the two countries. That dispute has prompted Russia to begin upgrading its own Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk Oblast of Northern Russia as a fallback option.

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The main residential area of the Baikonur Cosmodrome, home to generations of Russian servicemen and their family members, lays on the right bank of the Syr Darya River in Kazakhstan, near the Tyuratam station on the Moscow-Tashkent railroad.

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