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Hard times ahead for Ukraine’s defence if it breaks ties with Russia - expert

March 20, 2014, 15:22 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russian share in Ukrainian defense industry is 10%, he adds
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© ITAR-TASS/Marina Lystseva

MOSCOW, March 20. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian defence industry facilities can find themselves on social doldrums if Ukraine abandons military and technical cooperation with Russia, the editor-in-chief of Export Vooruzheniy (Arms Export) magazine Andrey Frolov told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

“Ukrainian defence supplies to Russia can probably find other buyers, yet this would cause a social explosion at the production facilities that make up the elite of the Ukrainian engineering industry,” said Frolov. “Formally, Russia’s share in the Ukrainian defence industry complex is 10%. However, Russia is the key importer for such companies as Motor Sich and Zorya-Mashproekt.”

He added that along with ship turbines, Zorya-Mashproekt supplied compressor stations to the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom. Russia is also one of the major markets of services, components and spare parts for these companies.

“If the supplies come to an abrupt end, the Russian defence industry can also face problems by the end of this year or even by the middle of it, primarily with aircraft engines and some components that have no counterparts in Russia yet,” said Frolov. This situation is not critical for Russia, he believes, as it can encourage the Russian industry to establish import-substituting facilities, while refusal to cooperate will deal a much harder blow on the Ukrainian defence industry.

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