"There are plans to manufacture four Soyuz spacecraft in 2009 to launch crews to the ISS," [Vitaly Lopota, the president of the Energia space rocket corporation] said. If the Russian space program was financed in full, Russia would not need to make money on space tourism, Krasnov said. "If we lack money, we will have to launch space tourists," he said."
"Russia could soon follow the Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds and invest billions of dollars in direct overseas investments if, as expected, its national welfare fund is given more freedom to invest."
Editor's note: Interesting how the govenrment-owned Energia is now using a quasi-state controlled news outlet to lobby for increased government funding for Russia's space program. One upon a time Russia's space program was so broke the only way to could continue was with outside financial help - from the U.S. and selling seats on Soyuz flights. Now, I guess, those Russian petro-Rubles are easier to find. Too bad. In retrospect, the commercial space traveler program has given the ISS a more cosmopolitan face since its inception and has injected some actual commercialism into the otherwise (multi) government-controlled ISS.