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KIEV, August 22 (Itar-Tass) - The members of the Ukrainian delegation for talks with Russia on joint manufacturing of the Antonov An-124 Ruslan plane have been approved, the Ukrainian government reported on Thursday.
The country’s Minister of Industrial Policy Mikhail Korolenko has been appointed the delegation’s head. It also includes representatives of the Ministry of Industrial Policy, Agency for Management of State Corporate Rights and Property, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, the JSC Motor Sich and Antonov State Company.
The documents on the joint manufacturing of the Ruslan planes are to be signed in September-October during a meeting of the Economic Cooperation Committee of the Interstate Commission, which will be chaired by Prime Ministers Nikolai Azarov and Dmitry Medvedev. The corresponding agreement between the sides was reached in Sochi on July 12.
The press service of the Ukrainian government said that the joint venture “will be a major long-term project of the two countries in the sphere of aviation and will give an impetus to the further development of bilateral cooperation in general.”
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told the Kommersant newspaper, however, that he doubted the expediency of further cooperation with Kiev in aircraft building. “The problem there is that the Ukrainian side is very unwilling to conclude an agreement on the transfer to us the right to modernise separate units of this plane (An-124). But we won’t wait any longer and make use of world experience,” he explained. According to Rogozin, if Ukraine fails to make a decision now, Russia will have to localise all the production at home.
The An-124 Ruslan is the world’s biggest cargo plane ever mass-produced. It was designed by the Antonov Research and Construction Bureau.