Russia sets $23 billion aside to replace foreign aircraft

Russia sets $23 billion aside to replace foreign aircraft
By Reuters
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MOSCOW - Russia plans to set aside 1.4 trillion roubles ($22.7 billion) from its sovereign wealth fund to replace foreign aircraft with domestic models, as Western sanctions make it hard to get spare parts to fix foreign planes.

Aircraft leasing companies will be given money to replace Boeing and Airbus airliners with new Russian-built planes, including Sukhoi's Superjet New and Irkut's MS-21.

"Our aircraft manufacturers will be guaranteed demand for leasing, which will then be used for our domestic airlines," Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said at a budget committee meeting on Monday in parliament's lower house, the Duma.

The money to pay for the scheme will be diverted from the National Wealth Fund (NWF) - a rainy day fund that is increasingly being used to prop up the economy in the face of Western sanctions over Russia's actions in Ukraine.

The funds are expected to be spent by 2030, a finance ministry representative said.

Russia's aviation industry aims to produce 1,000 airliners by 2030 in a bid to end its reliance on Western aircraft, state-owned conglomerate Rostec said in September.

($1 = 61.7000 roubles)

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