ABU DHABI, February 18. /TASS/. The construction of a plant in Venezuela to manufacture Kalashnikov assault rifles will be completed by the end of this year, CEO of Russia’s Rostec hi-tech corporation Sergei Chemezov said at the IDEX-2019 defense show in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
"We have fulfilled all our obligations and only the construction of the production facility for Kalashnikov assault rifles has not yet been completed. This work will be fulfilled by the end of the year," the chief executive said.
A part of deliveries was implemented through a loan and the other part for cash, he said. "Our partner [Venezuela] has also fulfilled all its obligations," the Rostec chief stressed.
The plant that will assemble Kalashnikov assault rifles is being built under a contract signed in July 2006. Venezuelan specialists are expected to launch the full-fledged licensed production of the AK-103 assault rifle and the plant is planned to manufacture about 25,000 assault rifles annually. Besides, the ammunition production plant will manufacture more than 50 million rounds per year.
In December 2016, Russian then-Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said that the plants would start working to full capacity in 2019. In April 2018, Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez confirmed the same timeframe after talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu.
The press office of Russia’s state arms seller Rosoboronexport told TASS in January that the contract would be implemented in full, despite the political crisis in the South American republic.