MOSCOW, October 16. /TASS/. The first deputy chairman of Industry Committee at the Russian State Duma lower house of parliament, first vice president of Russian Engineering Union, Vladimir Gutenev, warned on Friday about the extremely high risks for Bulgarian pilots in case of concluding a contract by Sofia with Poland on servicing Russia’s MiG-29 fighters.
"Obviously, the risks carried by the Bulgarian pilots in connection with the MiG operation after the repair of the aircraft engines by Polish specialists who do not have a license will be extremely high," he told reporters.
According to Gutenev, who also heads the Russian League of Assistance to Defence Enterprises, "in a bid to support Russophobic tendencies, the Bulgarian leadership is indifferent to the lives of their own military." "Ahead of that, the readiness of the ‘junior’ and powerless partners of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership to take decisions detrimental to their own economy caused a surprise. This was clearly evident in relations with Bulgaria on the issue of the construction of the South Stream pipeline and the Belene nuclear power plant, as well as in building its economic and trade relations with Russia," he said.
Gutenev said he was certain that "such an approach, or plane crashes that may be caused by these ill-considered politically charged decisions will not damage business reputation of the MiG company."
The Russian side has said it would deny Bulgaria MiG-29 repair services if Sofia signs a contract with Poland. "If the Bulgarian side signs an agreement with Poland on the repair of RD-33 engines that are mounted on the MiGs, we will have no other option but to refuse to provide services for the technical maintenance of the MiG-29 aircraft to the Bulgarian Air Force," Director General of JSC Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG Sergey Korotkov told reporters.
Previously, the Bulgarian government approved the signing of an intergovernmental agreement with Poland on the repair of the Russian MiG-29 fighters.