Ukraine should issue responsibility on the NATO strategic airlifting without Russia – experts

29.07.2016 11:55 762

Ukraine should issue responsibility on the NATO Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (SALIS) Program and sign new agreement with Aliance without Russia, Center For Army, Conversion and Disarmament Studies (CACDS) experts told Ukrinform. 

“Against the background of increasing aggression and unpredictability of Russia, its growing unreliability in the sensitive spheres, especially those – related to security of NATO and the EU, Ukraine has to refuse from further participation in SALIS jointly with Russia,” the experts told.

According to the experts, a three-year contract signed by Ukraine and Russia within NATO SALIS program expires in December 2016. And Ukraine should use this opportunity to exclude Russian companies from this project.

The contract is being managed by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) in the interest of 14 NATO and EU nations. The implementing agent under the SALIS contract is the Germany-based joint-stock company “Ruslan SALIS GmbH”, which was established by the Ukraine’s state-owned company “Antonov Airlines” and the Russian company “Volga-Dniepr”.

Those two companies are the only in the world possessing reasonable quantity of “Antonov 124-100 Ruslan” aircrafts, the experts said.

The Ukrainian company “Antonov Airlines” is capable of fulfilling airlift under SALIS Program alone. Moreover, “Antonov Airlines” has several unique advantages, which Russian subjects and their EU subsidiaries cannot ensure alone, the experts stressed.

Also, according to the experts, “Antonov Airline” has the Design Bureau, which is the only in the world institution licensed by ICAO to process airworthiness certification, as well as modernization and adjusting configuration of AN 124-100 “Ruslan” and AN 225 “Mriya” aircrafts (including spare parts).

The Ukrainian enterprise “Motor Sich”, as the Original Equipment Manufacturer of the engines for AN 124-100 “Ruslan” and AN 225 “Mriya” aircrafts, is the only in the world institution authorized to extend their service life.

Moreover, at present the Ukrainian company “Antonov Airlines” contrary to the Russian company “Volga-Dniepr” can conduct flights to all countries of the world, including Turkey, and Georgia. The Ukrainian company is also more predictable to NATO and the EU because of our pro-European and pro-Euro-Atlantic policy.

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