Russia may phase out aircraft building cooperation with Ukraine - Deputy PM Rogozin
Russia may very soon make a decision on whether to continue its cooperation with Ukraine on joint aircraft manufacturing projects, such as the Antonov An-124 'Ruslan' and An-70, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said in an interview published in the Thursday issue of Kommersant.
"The problem there [concerning the An-124 'Ruslan'] is that Ukraine is very unwilling to give us consent to modernizing some units of this plane. But we won't wait any longer and will use the best practices," Rogozin said.
If Ukraine does not make a decision now, "then we will simply have to localize the entire production on our territory," he said.
"And then we will fully waive their services. Who are they going to work with? With the Chinese? Will they sell things to the Chinese? China has made quite progress there as well. Why would they need Ukraine? I am sincerely worried about the fate of our industrial cooperation with Ukraine," Rogozin said.
A similar situation surrounds the Antonov An-70 project, not to mention that the An-70 is virtually a direct competitor to the Russian Ilyushin Il-476, he said.
"I'll ask you: why should we spread ourselves so thin, not to mention halve our series? Do we need to manufacture, say, fifty Il-476s and fifty An-70s at our own enterprise? We are interested in producing large series and significantly loading our enterprises, so that they have their own specialization and each plant not be turned into a subsistence economy," Rogozin said.
"We cannot bear such big overhead costs, considering our low workforce productivity," Rogozin said.
"Therefore, a decision should be made. It will be made, I think, in the near future. I am strongly convinced that all critically important production should be located on our own territory. We have no right to depend on anyone," he said.