Russia and Ukraine may set up a joint venture to promote Ukrainian aircraft in the near future, the Russian ambassador to Kiev said on Friday.

"It is likely that in the near future a 50-50 joint venture will be established that will manage the marketing and promotion of products designed by the Antonov Design Bureau and assembled in Russia," Mikhail Zurabov said, RIA Novosti reported.

He said the joint venture could also handle the optimization of aircraft equipment and after-sales service.

He added that the Antonov Design Bureau is a "unique aircraft complex."

Zurabov said that a group of Russian specialists would visit major Ukrainian aircraft plants.

Russian-Ukrainian relations have seen a dramatic improvement since President Viktor Yanukovych took office in February on a platform to roll back the pro-Western policies of his predecessor, Viktor Yushchenko, and heal damaged ties with Moscow.


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