Motor Sich says Russia's unfair competition behind criticism in Washington Times article on Ukraine-China cooperation
PJSC Motor Sich (Zaporizhia) says Russia's unfair competition in the field of military-technical cooperation is behind criticism expressed in an article published by The Washington Times about the company's cooperation with China, and in particular, the supply of AI-222 aircraft engines for Chinese JL-10 jet trainers.
"Only the blind cannot see lobbying Russian producers' interests behind all that hype... Such methods have all the signs of unfair competition," Motor Sich said in a statement for the media on Friday, August 17.
"The author of the article calls for exerting pressure on Ukraine to refrain from cooperation with China, pathetically calling it 'stabbing in the back,'" the company said, predicting that if Motor Sich drops the contract, similar Russian AI-222 will be shipped to China.
Motor Sich says that after the events of 2014, it lost its traditional Russian market for the sale of its products and had to seek alternative markets, namely China.
As part of the contract, it developed and produced a new version of the AI-222 aircraft engine without Russian components for Chinese jet trainers, the company said.
"Yet, the Russian Federation uses AI-222 engines manufactured in violation of licensing conditions for installing on the Yak-130 combat training aircraft, and constantly makes attempts to arrange shipments of those engines to China in replacement of the Ukrainian equipment," it explained.
"The severance of business relations and the loss of Motor Sich's supplies will not affect the combat capability of the Chinese Air Force, but Ukraine will face the aggravation of crisis-related trends in the aircraft industry and a reduction of jobs at the leading enterprise of the aviation industry," the statement said.
In this connection, Motor Sich insists on the inadmissibility of manipulation and pressure "for the sake of the military-industrial complex of the Russian Federation" and calls on the Ukrainian authorities to safeguard the interests of the Ukrainian producer. "Whoever says anything, China is Ukraine's strategic partner today," it said.
On August 15, The Washington Times published an article where the author, Bill Gertz, mentions that "critics say the Trump administration should pressure Ukraine to halt the engine sales along with other military transfers to China." The publication reportedly criticizes Motor Sich's 2016 contract on the supply of 250 engines for China's JL-10 jet trainers. It cites William C. Triplett, a China expert and former counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who says: "Basically the Ukrainians are getting away with taking the U.S. taxpayer's money in the one hand while stabbing the U.S. Navy in the back with the other."
A second argument, according to the article, for pressuring Kyiv is that China for the first time in decades is now identified by the U.S. government as a strategic competitor that American forces could one day face in the shooting war. "Thus Ukraine should be pressed to end sales of jet engines and other military gear that are bolstering China's military," the article said.