Ukraine may seek new partners if Russia quits the research project on the An-70 military transport plane, Xinhua informs.

Ukraine's Economy Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Ukraine should look at finding new partners for the important scheme. Both Airbus and Boeing were good choices, but Kyiv would have to negotiate the appropriate conditions for such a cooperative venture, he added.

His comments were in response to the statement by Russian Air Force Commander Vladimir Mikhailov on Wednesday that Russia might withdraw from the research project on the An-70 plane.

Ukraine's Industry Minister Volodymyr Shandra also told reporters that Kyiv was capable of wrapping up the An-70 project without Russian participation, although a lot of uncertainties may emerge in the process of the research.

The Ukrainian Air Force Command said the two countries were negotiating financial issues as Russia had provided a greater proportion of the funds for the project.

Ukraine and Russia made a joint research agreement on the An-70plane from 1993-1999. The developmental aircraft is capable of carrying 35 tons of freight and has a flight range of 5,000 km. The market demand has been estimated at over 1,000 planes.


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