Russia Backs Out of Joint An-70 Project

MOSCOW, Russia -- Russia is going to withdraw from its joint project with Ukraine to develop the An-70 military transport airplane. Ukraine is set to cooperate with companies like Airbus and Boeing instead.

“We are working on our own medium-size aircraft together with India. The Tupolev firm has also put forward suggestions. For this reason, we are discontinuing the An-70 program,” Russian Air Force Commander Gen. Vladimir Mikhailov was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying.

Ukraine will not give up the project if Russia withdraws from it. After Mikhailov’s announcement the Ukrainian Economy Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, said both Airbus and Boeing were good choices, but Kiev would have to negotiate the appropriate conditions for such a cooperative venture.

The Ukrainian Industry Minister Vladimir Shandra also told reporters that Kiev was capable of wrapping up the An-70 project without Russian participation, although many uncertainties might emerge in the process of the research, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Ukrainian Air Force Command said the two countries were negotiating financial issues as Russia had provided a greater proportion of the funds for the project.

Ukraine and Russia made a joint agreement for research on the An-70 plane from 1993-1999. The aircraft under development is capable of carrying 35 tons of freight and has a flight range of 5,000 km. The market demand has been estimated at over 1,000 planes.

Source: MosNews