MOSCOW, JAN 11 — Russia said its MS-21 plane project is proceeding according to plan, with no significant threats to its implementation despite U.S. sanctions, Russian media reported.
“The Russian government is aware of everything happening with the MS-21 project. Currently there are no problems threatening the project,” Russia’s Sputnik news agency quoted the office of Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov as saying.
Meanwhile, the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade said it had already taken measures to replace foreign composites with Russian analogues, adding that the country “has necessary industrial capacity, competences and suppliers,” according to Sputnik.
Russian newspaper Kommersant reported on Thursday that U.S. sanctions had cut off imports of composite materials by Russia from the United States and Japan needed to make its MS-21 planes.
It said Russia did not make the necessary components and it would take time for domestic corporations Rostec and the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) to organize domestic production, as current materials were only enough to make the wings of six more aircraft.
Rostec has called the composite delivery issue “far-fetched” and said that there would not be a shortage of composites even with U.S. sanctions.
“The first supplies of these planes are scheduled for 2020 and this date remains relevant for the UAC,” it said, according to Sputnik.
The MS-21 is a twin-engine short- and mid-range airliner developed and produced by Russia with a capacity for 150-212 passengers.
Relations between Russia and the West have worsened since 2014 over the Ukrainian crisis, Moscow’s alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election and a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain.
The United States and the European Union have imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russia, with Russia hitting back with countermeasures. – XINHUA