Russia-backed spaceport proposed for Christmas Island abandoned in 2002 over sovereignty fears | Cabinet papers

Plans to build a spaceport on Christmas Island with Russian technology were stymied in 2002 over fears that it would impinge on Australia’s sovereignty, cabinet papers reveal.

Russia wanted to limit Australia’s access to its rocket technology and classified information, and had concerns that a planned detention facility on the island would put its security at risk.

The cabinet records released by the National Archives of Australia on Sunday show negotiations had come to an “impasse”.

The National Security Committee recommended that cabinet consider a “limited compromise in respect of access to Russian goods, conduct of accident and incident investigations,