Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Ukraine "ready to buy" controversial overhaul MiGs
Ukraine supports the investigation launched in Croatia into the overhaul of a number of its MiG-21 jets in Ukraine.
SOURCE: TANJUG, N1 WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2016 | 13:09
This was the reaction of Ukraine's ambassador in Zagreb, Oleksandr Levchenko, who added he was "certain (Ukraine) would refute the scandal related to it."
Earlier this week, Croatian media reported that a large scale probe had been launched into the deal due to "the determined irregularities," and that corruption was suspected.
"We will check all irregularities - but who will be responsible for the damage done to Ukraine's reputation and to the factory, that is the best in overhauling MiGs?," he told N1 broadcaster in an interview, adding his country is "ready to buy the planes if necessary."
"12 planes for 14 million. The (overhaul) contract was five million euros cheaper for Croatia than the other option. They are nervous because we would not let them snatch those five million euros from Croatia. If somebody determines we should, we will repair them, so far nobody has determined that," said Levchenko.
Speaking about the MiGs, the diplomat said:
"They fly, they are combat (ready), cheap, and modernized. Aviation is expensive, and this project was relatively cheap."
Levchenko said his country was prepared to buy back the 12 jets as it is "defending its independence," while "in a war, any weapon is welcome."
N1 said on its website that the ambassador "would not comment on whether there were political motivations in this story," but said "Russian capital" was behind Croatia's daily Jutarnji List, which broke the story, and that "Russian services are behind everything."