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Russian deputy PM warns new sanctions may be slapped on MC-21 passenger jet project

"Russian government has provided and will provide support for the MC-21 program", said Yuri Borisov

IRKUTSK, July 7. /TASS/. The program on manufacturing Russian passenger jet MC-21 is facing the risk of coming under new Western sanctions and preconditions have been created for exerting pressure on the project, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told the Irkutsk Aviation Plant’s meeting on Sunday.

"After new US restrictions on trade with Russian companies, including with Joint Stock Company AeroComposit and Joint Stock Company ODK Aviadvigatel, came into force in September 2018, serious preconditions were created for putting pressure on the MC-21 program," Borisov said.

Washington banned the delivery of composite materials to Russia, which are used for manufacturing the plane’s wings, as well as the sales of titanium parts, machines for laying up dry carbonfibre tape and other equipment, he noted, stressing that: "There are risks that new sanctions may be slapped."

In order to successfully implement the MC-21 program, Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade jointly with the Irkut corporation has developed and has been fulfilling a range of measures for replacing foreign-made composite materials and a number of parts with Russian equivalents. "This will make it possible to ensure the MC-21 production’s technological independence from products under sanctions. That’s why the Russian government has provided and will provide support for the MC-21 program," Borisov emphasized.

The MC-21 is a medium-haul narrow-body passenger jet being developed by the United Aircraft Corporation. It may come in two configurations - the MC-21-200 (seating 132 to 165 passengers) and the MC-21-300 (163 to 211). Another configuration, the MC-21-400 with up to 250 seats, is also planned. Currently, only the MC-21-300 plane is being developed. It performed its first flight at the end of May 2017.