Ukraine president bans defense industry contacts with Russia

The National Radio Company of Ukraine
17-06-2014 10:42

Ukraine’s First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaliy Yarema has announced that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko imposed a ban on military-technological cooperation with Russia at a meeting of the country’s National Security and Defense Council (NSDC).

"At June 16 session of NSDC, the president of Ukraine categorically prohibited cooperation with Russia in military issues. Starting from today, we have effectively halted any cooperation with the Russian Federation in the defense industry," Yarema told Ukraine’s ICTV television channel on June 16 evening.


Ukraine’s Poroshenko stops military cooperation with Russia
June 17, 9:54 UTC+4

Experts say halting military cooperation between the two countries would affect 79 Ukrainian and 859 Russian defense firms

KIEV, June 17. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has banned military cooperation with Russia in a move which experts said would affect 79 Ukrainian and 859 Russian defense firms.

Parliament-appointed First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Yarema told ICTV on Monday evening that Poroshenko issued the order at a session of the Council of National Security and Defense earlier in the day. "From that day on, we practically ceased any cooperation in the military-industrial sphere with the Russian Federation," he said.

Yarema reminded that earlier parliament-appointed Verkhovna Rada Speaker Oleksadnr Turchynov had signed the decree ordering to stop military cooperation with Russia and supplies of weapons to Russia. However, the document allowed cooperation in the production of dual-purpose goods such as helicopter engines.


Russia developing plans for full substitution of defense imports from Ukraine
June 17, 2014 4:51 UTC+4

Ukraine’s newly elected president Petro Poroshenko said on banning cooperation with Russia in the military sphere

MOSCOW, June 17, /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Industry and Trade Ministry came up with a plan for a full substitution of defense imports from Ukraine June 17, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on his page in Facebook Tuesday.

He said this in response to a statement by Ukraine’s newly elected president Petro Poroshenko on banning cooperation with Russia in the military sphere.

“It’s too late,” Rogozin remarked on Poroshenko’s decision. “June 10, the Ministry of Industry and Trade submitted a plan to the Defense Manufacturing Commission for a full substitution of defense imports from Ukraine.”

“The plan is a result of scrupulous work done by specialists,” he said. “The document shows where, what, for how much, and in what amounts should be done or produced and who is in charge.”

Poroshenko said Monday at a session of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council he had imposed a ban on cooperation with Russia in the field of defense manufacturing. The news was reported later by acting interim deputy prime minister Vitaly Yarema in the Freedoms Speaks show on the ICTV channel.

“As of today, we’ve practically stopped any cooperation with the Russian Federation in the field of defense manufacturing,” Yarema said.

He recalled that the previous interim president of the country, Alexander Turchinov, had signed a decree on canceling cooperation with Russia in supplies of weaponry and defense systems.

“Permission was issued to continue cooperation only in dual technologies, for instance, helicopter engines that can be used for defense and civilian purposes likewise,” Yarema said.


Why Ukraine’s freeze on arms sales to Russia will hurt Kiev too
President Poroshenko has effectively ended $15 billion in arms contracts that keep Russia’s military in the air and Ukraine’s defense industry employed.
By Fred Weir, Correspondent | June 17, 2014

Moscow — In light of Moscow’s continued support for armed rebels in Ukraine’s east, it seems logical that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has officially terminated "defense cooperation" between his country and Russia.

But Mr. Poroshenko’s ban on all contacts in the military sphere will likely inflict massive pain on interdependent arms industries on both sides of the border. The effective termination of an estimated $15 billion in current contracts could lead to the collapse of some of Ukraine’s major companies.

According to the official ITAR-Tass agency, 79 Ukrainian and 859 Russian defense firms will be adversely affected. These industries have been intertwined since Soviet times, when Ukraine accounted for about 30 percent of Soviet military shipbuilding and disproportionately high shares in aviation, missiles, armor, and space industries.

The immediate blow is likely to fall hardest on Ukrainian defense industries that still produce many high-tech components – such as helicopter and jet engines, transport aircraft, air-to-air missiles, tanks, and rocket parts – and traditionally export almost two-thirds of their output to Russia.

For Moscow, the collapse in relations spells an expensive and technically difficult detour from President Vladimir Putin’s ambitious 10-year, $800 billion rearmament program. Many parts of that plan must now be put off as Russian industries struggle to find substitutions for the high quality, custom-made parts they formerly received from Ukraine.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who is in charge of military industries, insisted Tuesday that Russia has a "fully worked out" program to replace all Ukrainian components within 2-1/2 years.

But Alexander Golts, a military expert with the online news portal Yezhednevny Zhurnal, says that’s optimistic. "We are looking at very big delays in our rearmament program. Ukraine has a few unique technologies that are critical to Russian military production," he says. "It will be miraculous if we can replace those within three years as Rogozin claims."

One of those unique technologies is helicopter engines, mostly produced by the Zaparozhia-based firm Motor Sich. Mr. Golts says that up to 80 percent of Russian helicopters, particularly the Mil Mi-8 and Mi-24 series of transport and gunship helicopters, are powered by Ukrainian-built engines. There are few industries in Russia capable of stepping in to the gap, he adds.

There is only one major helicopter producer in Russia, the St. Petersburg-based Klimov company, which is now to be handed the problem of servicing the Russian military’s entire helicopter fleet, according to the official RIA-Novosti agency.

Another key area is gas turbine engines, produced by the giant Mashproekt works in Nikolayev, Ukraine. The engines are critical components for Russia’s newest generation of warships.

Yet another blow to Russia’s military is the loss of production and cooperation with the huge, state-owned Kiev-based Antonov company, makers of the world’s largest transport planes. Antonov may suffer the most, since about two-thirds of the components for its current line of products come from Russia-based factories. But a joint venture to build the Russian military’s new transport workhorse, the An-70, has already been suspended, leaving Moscow scrambling to find a replacement.

Experts say that Russia, with its vast industrial base and petroleum-fueled state budget, will eventually recover from the sudden rupture of ties. Ukraine’s military industries, mostly located in the strife-torn east of the country, may have far greater difficulties in surviving the loss of their former Russian markets.

Without major support from the nearly-bankrupt Ukrainian government, some large Ukrainian defense firms "will collapse," the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center quotes Anton Mikhnenko, deputy director of the Center for Army, Conversion, and Disarmament Studies in Kiev as saying.


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