China claimed that it gets the Ukrainian Antonov An-225 Mriya strategic airlift cargo aircraft, as well as all of its technologies, ownership and the only such aircraft in the world itself. In some hours the Antonov Corporation refuted this report, but then issued a brief comment with ambiguous statements on a long-term cooperation deal.
Aleksey Maslov, Professor and Chairman of the Department for Oriental Studies of the Higher School for Economics, commented Pravda.Ru on the deal:
'We can evidence quite standard Chinese approach here. China has been approaching the Ukrainian Antonov Corporation for the latest two years and attacked it with its offers. But as it's a matter of political image, Ukraine wouldn't like to officially speak about it, that it really sells the Antonov aircraft to China and even technologies are provided. Thus, a cunning way was chosen - cooperation has been carried out not between China and Ukraine, but through a company in Hong Kong or somewhere else. It's beneficial for China to declare that the Antonov Corporation handed over technologies, which is not for Ukraine'.
According to aviation experts, Mriya is the only thing Ukrainian aviation could be proud of. And does Ukraine have any relation to the design of this aircraft?
Victo Gorlov, former deputy Minister of the USSR civil aviation:
'It's a development of the Antonov Design Bureau. It was developed during the Soviet time, but now the Bureau is in the territory of Ukraine. That is why they are owners of the intellectual property, and all of the technologies. The aircraft was developed and made in Ukraine, in two copies. Of course there are a lot of Russian materials and components. It's a unique ultra-heavy airplane. And passing it to China... well, it's a good thing that not to the US'.
The United States has imposed new sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, which still remains under construction