17 june 2019

Central Asia news

Russia's military relations with post-Soviet countries are based on its geopolitical interests

09.10.2006 14:59 msk

Vladimir Mukhin (NG)

Business Russia

Russia is launching a new phase of military and military-technical cooperation in the post-Soviet zone. Facts show that this new phase is determined by processes of disintegration. The Russian-Uzbek relations are a vivid example. At first sight, everything is fine and dandy in these relations but the military-technical cooperation between these two countries is anything but unproblematic. While Russian and Uzbek soldiers were making preparations for a joint action against terrorists, united Aircraft Consortium President Valery Bezverkhny went public with the plans to transfer manufacture of IL-76s from Uzbekistan to Russia. Similar plans had already been aired by AF Commander Vladimir Mikhailov and Sergei Stepashin of the Auditing Commission. The latter made a report on IL-76 production to the president "from the standpoint of the federal budget". Indeed, manufacture of IL-76s and modifications (Il-76 MF) is highly beneficial. The contract with China for 38 planes costs $1.5 billion, an equivalent of one tenth of the Uzbek GDP. It is the Tashkent Aircraft Manufacturer named after Chkalov that is the contract executor while Russian companies supplying 98% of components are not entitled to any financial gains. Uzbekistan has not delivered a single plane to Beijing yet. Frustrated, China has already expressed its vexation and postponed the meeting of the Russian-Chinese commission for military-technical cooperation. It seems that Moscow has finally decided to take practical steps that will lead to establishment of IL-76 manufacture on the Russian territory.

This turn of events should have been expected. For Russian economy, it is a step forward. For Uzbekistan, it means continued industrial stagnation. Concentration of military programs and manufacture of merchandise on the territory of Russia is a logical process. Experts say that it was the eagerness to monopolize manufacture of military transport planes that prompted Moscow to terminate the Russian-Ukrainian AN-70 program.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, October 9, 2006, p. 17

© Translated by Ferghana.Ru