The FINANCIAL — Ukrainian aviation will not be able to exist normally without a cooperation with Russia, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said on May 23 in an interview with three Ukrainian TV channels, according to RIA Novosti.
He added that currently when Ukrainian aviation is independent it produces only a plane a year.
"We begin a serial production of AN planes, which we can not do by ourselves," Yanukovych said. "The world has long been allied. How does Boeing work, how does the Airbus work? They work with a great perspective. But we are marking time. Therefore, we should make a decision, and it will suite both Ukraine and Russia."
The two states plan closer cooperation in the aviation industry, including joint production of An-140 airliners, An-148 regional jet aircraft, An-70 transport aircraft and Tu-334 short-haul passenger airliners, and resuming serial production of the An-124 heavy-lift transport aircraft.
"A consolidation will give us a prospect of economic growth, increased production, jobs," Yanukovych said.
He added that Ukraine will always defend its national interests, no mater who the countries partner, Russia or Europe, is.
Last month Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said that it was absolutely obvious that Ukraine would not be able to boost its aviation industry alone as "for the last 10 years Ukraine has built only free air planes."
Yanukovych, who was inaugurated as the president in February, vowed during his campaign to improve relations with Russia and renegotiate the January 2009 deal on gas supplies, which increased the price, straining Ukraine's already troubled finances.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Yanukovych signed the agreement on extending Russia's use of a naval base in Ukraine's Crimea, extending the lease on the Russian base in the port of Sevastopol for 25 years after the current lease expires in 2017, which may be further extended by another five years.
Russia and Ukraine signed on Wednesday a protocol regulating the presence of Russian security officers at the Black Sea Fleet facilities in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) said.