United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) is ready to launch the production of the new Russian-Ukrainian medium-class transport warplane Antonov An-70 in Russia, if the Russian Defense Ministry places an order, UAC President Alexei Fyodorov told Interfax-AVN.
"In principle, the military wants to buy these planes. If the decision is made UAC will be ready to make them at its assembly facilities," Fyodorov told an international machine-building forum in Zhukovsky near Moscow.
The An-70s will most probably be assembled in Ulyanovsk, whose Aviastar company has been chosen to be the main producer of aircraft of this class, he said.
The development of the An-70 has entered its final stage, Fyodorov said. "The basic flight and technical characteristics need to be finally confirmed and the order defined," he said.
Large investment will have to be made to launch the production of these planes in Russia, he also said.
Russia and Ukraine have been working on the An-70 operational-tactical short take-off and landing transport warplane under the intergovernmental agreements, signed in 1993 and 1999. The plane is being developed by Antonov Corporation, based in Kyiv. It will be powered with D-27 engines to be made commercially by Motor Sich in Zaporizhia, Ukraine.
vii CODE: UA111
ATTRIBUTION: STRATFOR sources in Kiev
SOURCE DESCRIPTION: A Romanian diplomat in Kiev
SOURCE RELIABILITY: B
ITEM CREDIBILITY: 2
BLACK SEA FLEET: The most important and the most symbolic is the signature on 21 April of the Kharkov agreements. In exchange for a 30% reduction in the price of natural gas delivered to Ukraine, Russia obtains the right to maintain its Black Sea fleet in Sebastopol until 2042 while under the terms of the 1997 bilateral treaty it would have had to withdraw in 2017.
NATO: That decision, ratified in the Rada a few days later in special conditions in reality is a de facto closure of Ukraine’s pursuit of NATO membership. The vote at the beginning of June of a law “on the foundations of the country’s domestic and foreign policies” underlining its “no bloc” character will consecrate this ideological change.
OTHER SECURITY: Kiev supports President Medvedev’s initiatives on a refoundation of European security and takes a common position with Russia on the question of the unresolved conflict in Transdniester.
TARGETS: The Russians are most keen on three sectors: civil nuclear energy (Rosatom is one of the tools being used to target Ukraine. This has been seen in several operations: the signing by TVEL of fuel supply contracts for Ukrainian power stations; the provision of credit – said to total $5bn – for the construction of additional capacity at Khmelnitsky; creation of a joint venture between Turboatom, a Kharkov-based company which produces semi-rapid turbines, and Atomenergomash. Finally, Sergey Kirienko is striking plans for ARMZ to be invited to exploit the giant Novokonstantinovka deposit, which accounts for most of Ukraine’s estimated 100,000 tonne reserves.), aerospace (Moscow is seeking a closer relationship between the Russian aerospace holding company OAK and Antonov) and shipbuilding (the Ukrainian assets targeted by Russia are Nikolaev’s TchSZ, Zarya-Mashproekt and More).
FINANCIAL: Moscow also put its hand into its pocket when in mid-June it granted Ukraine a $2bn loan that should enable Kiev to balance its books until an agreement can be reached with the IMF for a new aid programme worth about $20bn (an initial $16bn stand-by loan had been approved in autumn 2008 but the transfer of the last instalments were suspended at the end of 2009 for failure to respect Yulia Timoshchenko’s commitments).
HISTORICAL REVISIONS: Over the last few weeks the new Ukrainian establishment has made several other important gestures to Moscow. With regard to questions relating to the interpretation of history, Viktor Yanukovich for example spoke of the major famine of 1932-33 at the rostrum of the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe. The organization in Kiev of a big military parade on 9 May highlighted the fact that the new regime is taking a step back from interpretations of the Second World War – especially the role of the Insurrectional Ukrainian Army (UPA) as put forward by the “orange” establishment.
EDUCATION: The appointment of Dmitry Tabachnik as minister of Education also sent a strong message to the Kremlin. This cultured intellectual, between 1994 and 1996 an official in Leonid Kuchma’s administration, then deputy prime minister and a parliamentary deputy for the Party of Regions is in fact known for detesting the Ukrainian nationalism. Since he was appointed he has been striving for a return of Russian language teaching and has announced the preparation of new history books that reject the dogma of nationalism disseminated for years by the Ukrainian State. On the question of language Moscow will not obtain Russian becoming Ukraine’s second official language. But the new Kiev government currently is drafting a series of legislative texts that envisage the transfer of competency in this sensitive area to the regions. This soon will result in a bilingualism recognised in most of the provinces that, in reality, will means a strong return of the Russian language in administration, and especially in the courts.
REPRESENTATION: Russia has accepted a definition of land borders and has promised to defend Ukraine’s interests in multilateral forums such as the G20.
Ukraine Mulls Gas Project With Gazprom, Vows Secure Supplies
June 16 (Bloomberg) -- Ukraine is “potentially interested” in a joint project of state-run energy company NAK Naftogaz Ukrainy and OAO Gazprom that might include an exchange of assets, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin offered to merge the country’s gas monopoly Gazprom with Naftogaz at a meeting with Azarov on April 30. Naftogaz moves about 80 percent of Russia’s Europe-bound gas exports via its Soviet-era transportation network and Russia has sought control over it.
“Ukraine is interested in getting access to gas and oil reserves of Russia because we don’t have such deposits and resources,” Azarov said in an interview late yesterday in Luxembourg. “The Russian counterparts are interested in participating and running our gas transportation system and its modernization.”
The idea “is being developed and pondered by the networks of Gazprom, Naftogaz and corresponding ministries,” Azarov said, adding that a decision will be made “when we reach a mutually beneficial compromise.”
Naftogaz, which currently pumps about 100 billion cubic meters of gas a year, is seeking to upgrade its pipelines. The system capacity totals 142 billion cubic meters of gas a year and the company wants Russia and the European Union to cooperate on upgrading the pipelines, which may cost as much as $4 billion, its chief executive officer said last month.
Ukraine has focused on relations with Russia since President Viktor Yanukovych took office in February and formed a cabinet loyal to him in March. Two months ago in Kiev, Putin suggested forming a nuclear energy holding company between the two former Soviet Union republics after Russia agreed to cut gas prices for Ukraine by 30 percent through 2019.
The warming of ties came after Russia cut gas supplies to Ukraine in 2006 and 2009, when the country was governed by President Viktor Yushchenko, who took office on promises to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO. A dispute with Russia in January last year left more than 20 countries in Europe without gas for almost two weeks in freezing temperatures.
“There’s no reason for the European consumers to fear any gas disruptions or situations similar to January 2009,” Azarov said. “All we need to ensure is that Naftogaz is having an efficient management and with the stable leadership in the country, with the president and prime minister being one team, we shall definitely prevent any potential hiccup or disruption in gas supplies to Europe.”
He also said Ukraine wants to have close relations with both the 27-nation European Union, which it borders to the west, and its eastern neighbors.
“We believe that building tighter links with eastern partners, including Russia, as well as other countries in the east and tighter relationships with the EU are two vector processes that we’re to pursue, with the final objective of benefiting the Ukrainian economy.”
To contact the reporters on this story: Ewa Krukowska in Brussels at email@example.com; Daryna Krasnolutska in Kiev at firstname.lastname@example.org;
Last Updated: June 15, 2010 17:47 EDT
ixUkrainian premier rules out Neftegaz-Gazprom merger
Azarov said on Friday that the Ukrainian government was pondering the possibility of a joint venture between Neftegaz and Gazprom. “We are considering the possibility of a joint venture with Gazprom. The European Union has expressed an interest in such a consortium,” he said.