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‘Blessing in disguise’: Putin weighs in on sanctions bolstering Russian aviation engines

The president noted that it is easier to purchase an aircraft than to manufacture it yourself

VELIKY NOVGOROD, September 21. /TASS/. Russia has not previously produced competitive engines for civil aviation, but the US-led sanctions may have turned out to be a "blessing in disguise", Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday, speaking at a meeting with the heads of top engineering schools.

"No one has been doing anything all along. Of course, it’s better to buy Boeings and Airbuses, and it is cheaper and even more comfortable. But if we don’t make them ourselves, we will never get [our own aircraft engines for civil aviation]. Here it was a blessing in disguise," the head of state pointed out.

He recalled that as the sanctions mounted and foreign companies exited Russia, the Transport Ministry decided to keep those civil aircraft that were leased in the country.

"They simply kept everything because they thought, and correctly thought that the lessor had no right to withdraw it [aircraft]. They began to withdraw it before the contract but the Transport Ministry simply did not give it back," Putin stressed. At the same time, he wondered, "how long will we fly them - a year, two, three?"

"By this time, we need our own aircraft. We have them, but they need to be replicated and improved in quality, and, above all, the propulsion systems. Therefore, this is crucial, this is currently in demand, and we need these developments now," the head of state concluded.

In general, he noted that it is easier to purchase than to manufacture them yourself.

"It's easier to buy than to produce. "But as soon as we start buying, the market is closed for our own manufacturer, because we haven't produced competitive aircraft engines for civil aviation ever since Soviet times," the head of state explained. However, for military aviation, domestic engines are "the best in the world," but as far as civilian aviation goes "there are completely different requirements," Putin added.