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Russia to replace defense imports from Ukraine in 2.5 years, says vice premier

September 22, 2014, 6:11 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Rogozin expressed deep regrets that the Ukrainian industry was what he said “finished off” due to the policy of official Kiev

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MOSCOW, September 22. /ITAR-TASS/. In two-and-a-half years, Russia will substitute all imports for its military-industrial complex from Ukraine lost due to the Ukraine crisis, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Sunday.

Rogozin expressed deep regrets that the Ukrainian industry was what he said “finished off” due to the policy of official Kiev.

“We had some hope at the end of last year that we would manage to remedy the situation,” he said in Sunday Evening with Vladimir Solovyov TV programme.

“At that time, President Vladimir Putin took maximum effort to rescue Ukraine from the tail spin it got into, including a tail spin for the economy, the industry of that country”.

Rogozin recalled his trip to industrial enterprises of Ukraine, in which he had inspected practically all important defense enterprises, met with renowned scientists and engineers who favoured cooperation with Russia.

“We agreed to set up joint engineering centers,” he said. “All could have been remedied, but on February 21, when a coup took place, I was to leave for Kiev upon a presidential instruction. I stopped the car as it was approaching the airport as it was clear that it was all over with Ukraine,” Rogozin said.

Ukraine has been in deep crisis since the end of last year, when then-President Viktor Yanukovich suspended the signing of an association agreement with the European Union to study the deal more thoroughly. The move triggered mass riots that eventually led to a coup in February 2014.

The Crimean Peninsula did not accept the coup-imposed authorities in Kiev. It seceded from Ukraine and reunified with Russia in mid-March 2014 after a referendum following some 60 years as part of Ukraine.

Crimea’s example apparently inspired residents of Ukraine’s southeast who did not recognize the coup-imposed authorities either, formed militias and started fighting for their rights.

Kiev’s military operation designed to regain control over the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums and now call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics, involves armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation and has claimed hundreds of civilian lives and caused hundreds of thousands of people to flee Ukraine’s southeast.

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