The Duma is certainly a place to ask for money, so it was hardly surprising that Anatoly Perminov, the head of the Russian Space Agency, complained about inadequate financing of the Glonass program. He said that in 2002-2005 the program has not received 2.846 billion rubles of the allocated funds. (To put this number into perspective, this is more than the amount allocated for the Glonass program in the 2005 budget, which is 2.044 billion rubles.)

As a result, the agency could not conduct a second three-satellite launch in 2003 (in addition to the one in December 2003). The launch of a new Glonass-K satellite that was initially scheduled to this year was postponed until 2008 (this satellite is supposed to have even longer lifetime than the Glonass-M satellites that are currently undergoing flight tests).

The deadline for having a constellation of 18 satellites in orbit by 2007 is still expected to be met, but only if Space Agency could have two Glonass launches in 2007.

If this is how high-priority programs are funded, it's a mistery how ordinary ones can survive.