Author`s name Alex Naumov

Ukrainians are switching sides again

It seems that those Russian politicians and industrial managers who insist on developing the production of all strategic goods in the Russian territory instead of the manufacturers left aboard after the disintegration of the Soviet Union are more right than those who suggest taking into consideration Slavonic brotherhood or economic reasons. Both considerations are too temporary.

The industry of helicopter and aviation engines is one of the spheres which demands quite urgent decisions on both sides. Russia has completed the formation of the integrated holding Helicopters of Russia. The United Aviation-Building Company of Russia was formed a bit earlier. The next industry which awaits integration in Russia is engine making. However, in engine making there will be at least two competing holdings.

Ukraine has the design bureau Progress and the manufacturing plant Motor Sich, which are traditionally linked to the Russian industry. In Russia there are enough managers who support the integration with the Ukrainians, however, there are strong opponents too. The two parties must have had the undisclosed consultations on a very high level, however, they yielded zero result.

So far the Honorable President and the co-owner of the JSC Motor Sich, the People's Deputy of the Ukraine Vyacheslav Boguslaev had been lobbying the integration with Russian colleagues. However, recently Ukrainian and then Russian media published some materials claiming that Boguslaev seeks new political allies for cooperation.

Last time he became of the MP of the Ukrainian Supreme Rada through the election lists of the Party of Regions, a well-known proponent of economic integration with Russia. Today Ukrainian and Russian journalists suspect that Buguslaev seeks closer links with the presidential environment and pro-presidential political forces, the proponents of the so called Euro integration. The suspicion is based on direct and indirect statements of the politician and the manager.

These statements were made against the background of the no-success talks with Russian Oboronporm (the parent company of Helicopters of Russia) regarding the sale or exchange of the shares of the Ukrainian enterprise and in the context of the continuing talks with the American Sikorsky Aircraft, which plans to expand to the Ukrainian market. Motor Sich, certainly, is mentioned as a logic partner of the US helicopter maker.

It would be wrong to assume that the position of the Ukrainian leaders is decisive for the Russian helicopter or engine industry. However, to a point it may influence their shape. Probably, this influence is already felt. Russia decided to duplicate part of the production usually given away to Motor Sich.

St. Petersburg designer and maker of helicopter engines Klimov announced the plans of tripling the turnover by 2015. According to the General Director of the company Alexander Vatagin by that time it will make 12 billion rubles. Noteworthy, the main increase will be due to removing the manufacturing of the helicopter TV-3-117 and VK-2500 (traditionally made by Motor Sich) to St. Petersburg as well as setting up the production of the new VK-800.

The agreement on the construction of a new hi-tech plant was signed with the government of the city. The project is worth 3 billion rubles, of which 1,5 billion will be allocated from the federal budget, and 1,5 billion will come from the non-budget sources. After this the production of the helicopter engines TV-3-117 and VK-2500 is planned to grow from 100 to 400 units a year. According to Vatagin before the end of 2009 this project will be implemented.

According to the Perm based media sources referring to a source in the local government Perm Motors started negotiations with Klimov on participating in the VK-2500 project. It seems that little place, if any, is left for the Ukrainians.

Yuri Seleznev