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KIEV, March 2. /TASS/. Russia and Ukraine actually suspended joint cooperation on the project of the An-70 military-transport aircraft more than a year ago, the head of the Kiev-based aircraft manufacturing company said on Monday.
Oksana Trofimchuk commented on the report by Russia’s Izvestia newspaper that the Russian Defense Ministry has excluded the An-70 aircraft from the arms procurement program.
"Since last year, the situation has deteriorated, and now the cooperation on all the military programs with Russia is over," Trofimchuk said.
Russia’s Defense Ministry was expected to purchase 60 aircraft of this type by 2020. Each aircraft was estimated at around $67 million.
Russia and Ukraine started developing the joint project in 2010. Moscow allocated 2.95 billion rubles (around $90 million at the exchange rate of that time) to the Antonov plant for the design work.
The Russian Defense Ministry is now considering filing a lawsuit to recover the funds, the report said.
An-70 aircraft belongs to a new generation of the short takeoff and landing tactical military medium transport. The plane has the speed of more than 750 kilometers (466 miles) per hour and performs flights at distances of up to 7,800 kilometers. It can carry up to 47 tons of cargo.