Putin says Russia can remove dependence on Ukrainian defense industry

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-4-28 22:20:25

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that Russia is capable of replacing defense-related import from Ukraine within two years and a half.

"Russia and its military industry is capable financially and technologically of substituting import (of defense-related products from Ukraine)," Putin told a legislators' meeting in the northwestern city of Petrozavodsk.

The president highlighted the difference between Russian and Ukrainian dependence on that industry, calling Russia's dependence "decisive" and Ukraine's one "crucial."

To replace Ukraine-made products, Russian would need from 1.5 to 2.5 years and "absolutely affordable" money, he noted.

Putin ordered the government to work out steps for gradual replacement of Ukrainian import but said he hoped the Russia-Ukraine bilateral cooperation in military industry would continue.

The recent delay of supplies from Ukraine has been a forcible decision by Kiev authorities, while Ukrainian enterprises want to cooperate with their Russian clients, Putin said.

Meanwhile, he invited Ukrainian defense industry's skilled workers to come to Russia, promising them decent salaries and housing.

"All necessary funds for that will be allocated. Welcome!" Putin vowed.

Russia and the West are facing probably the worst standoff since the Cold War as the Ukrainian crisis worsens. Russia has deployed troops and helicopters to the borders with Ukraine, while NATO sent extra forces to eastern Europe.

Posted in: Europe

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