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MOSCOW, April 7. /TASS/. The program of import substitution for products of Ukrainian defense enterprises will cost Russia less than one Mistral helicopter carrier, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told TASS in an interview on Tuesday. He did not specify the program’s cost, but answering the question how many Mistral warships could be bought with this money, said: "None."
The program has been partially implemented and will be completed by the end of 2017: the program’s relatively small cost is related to its organizational nature, he said.
"It’s not so much the financial as organizational issue. Basically, the money is spent on production retooling. In any case, it would have to be spent [for Ukrainian products], and now the funds are refocused on Russian production, for the purchase of additional machine tool or test-bench equipment," Rogozin said.
In addition, enterprises that organize manufacturing of analogues of Ukrainian components will later get money for the manufactured products. According to the deputy prime minister, mainly small parts have to be substituted.
"By and large, all Ukrainian military import substitution consists of some cords, cables, sensors, bearings — small components, the production of which had been started back during the Soviet period. Thousands of different components, they are just little things. Everything is old, there is nothing new or modern," he said, adding that the largest items that Russia used to buy in Ukraine were gas-turbine units for warships (Zorya-Mashproyekt enterprise) and the Zenit rocket (Yuzhmash machine building plant).
"We can say that we have replaced the Zenit rocket with the medium class Angara-3 rocket," he added.
Ukraine suspended cooperation with Russia in the defence sphere in June 2014.
Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said previously that Russia’s Defense Ministry had no problems over the need to replace Ukrainian components although Russia depends on the country’s 200 units of weaponry and military equipment. "By late 2015 we will almost stop being dependent on Ukrainian manufacturers and around 70 or 80% of components will be substituted for. We are not facing any difficulties here," Borisov said.