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Ukraine conflict: Motor Sich to stay in government hands for now, industry rep says

Motor Sich displayed its TV3-117VMA-SBM1V helicopter engine at a Turkish defence show in 2019. (Janes)

Ukraine's government, which recently seized control of aircraft engine manufacturer Motor Sich, does not appear to be in a rush to sell the company to a new private owner amid the country's ongoing war with Russia, according to an industry representative.

“I think it will be privatised for sure, but it will remain in government hands for a while as the investment climate is not favourable for such kind of privatisation,” said Denys Jatsyshyn, director of corporate relations at the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council, which promotes US-Ukraine business relations.

An attractive long-term option would be for a Western defence company to acquire or form a joint venture with Motor Sich, Jatsyshyn told Janes in a 16 November email. Ukraine's defence industry has sought foreign investment from the West for years to help it develop new products and modernise its ageing infrastructure.

Ukraine's government announced on 7 November that it took control of Motor Sich because of “military necessity”. The takeover followed a 23 October announcement by the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) that it arrested the head of the southeastern Ukraine-based company for allegedly supplying engines to Russia for attack helicopters. To circumvent Ukraine's trade restrictions with Russia, Motor Sich used commercial entities it controlled in East Asia, Europe, and the Middle East to handle the sales, the SSU said.

“Taking into account that Motor Sich is a strategically important enterprise for Ukraine, the government of Ukraine had no choice but to nationalise the company,” Jatsyshyn said.

China's state-run Global Times

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