20 Nov 2009 11:03

Putin backs Ukraine

YALTA. Nov 20 (Interfax) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has backed the proposal made by his Ukrainian counterpart Yulia Tymoshenko to exchange the minority stakes in Ukraine's aircraft building holding and Russia's United Aircraft-building Corporation (UAC).

"We believe, and I think this is possible. At any rate joining efforts in such a crucial and high-tech field will be beneficial," Putin said.

"We need to agree on the swap rules," he said.

By preliminary estimates, the UAC is worth $3 billion, Putin said.

One of Russian banks acquired 5% of shares in EADS for $1 billion and this stake could also be transferred to the UAC upon agreement with European partners, said the Russian prime minister.

"Both sides' inputs should be assessed," he said.

Such a deal could be a good base for the joint aircraft production and sale on the two markets and globally, he said.

First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov has been instructed to work out the issue from the Russian side, Putin said.