Five MIG-29s to be repaired within National Investment Plan

Minister of International Economic Relations and coordinator at the Ministry of Finance Milan Parivodic said that signing of the contract on repairing five MIG-29s is the first investment into the air force sector in 20 years. Parivodic stressed that between $24 and $25 million has been set aside from the National Investment Plan for the repairs, adding that once this is done, eight helicopters will be also repaired as well as one freight plane.

The contract was signed by the director of the public company Jugoimport SDPR Stevan Nikcevic and representative of Russia’s MIG Company Dimitri Ostapchuk. Serbian Minister of Defence Zoran Stankovic who attended the ceremony addressed the media at a press conference and said that next year four planes will be repaired through funds from the National Investment Plan, whereas the fifth plane will be repaired in 2008.

Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Army Major-General Zdravko Ponos emphasised that the event is not closely connected with Serbia’s entry into the Partnership for Peace because had there been economic possibilities, the planes would have been repaired long ago.

Russian Ambassador to Serbia Aleksadr Alekseyev said that the contract has a special meaning for both countries and represents a token of trust. „This is another step towards good cooperation“, added Alekseyev and voiced hope that next year will be even better when it comes to bilateral relations.