Ukraine's losses from the suspension of defense and technical cooperation with Russia will not exceed $300 million a year, according to assessments of the Center for Army, Conversion and Disarmament Studies (CACDS).
Commenting on an order of Ukrainian President Petro Potoshenko to stop defense cooperation with Russia after a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) at a press conference in Kyiv on Wednesday, CACDS Director Valentyn Badrak said that the share of defense and technical cooperation with Russia of total exports of Ukraine's armaments does not exceed 15% today. "The political aspect is more important here that the economic one," he said. He added that in the conditions of the Russian aggression it is problematic to wait for tough reaction of Western partners, including freezing of defense and technical cooperation with Russia, for example, by France. The military expert said that stopping of defense and technical cooperation with Russia will first tough the missile and aerospace sector, aircraft and aircraft engine building, engine building for Navy. Ukraine also supplies around 30% of uranium for the nuclear sector of Russia, he said. Badrak expressed confidence that freezing of defense and technical cooperation with Russia will mainly touch the interests of the Russian defense sector and not the Ukrainian one: Russia is gradually reducing it starting from 1990s and it cooperates with Ukraine only in programs where the Ukrainian imports are impossible to replace by a political decision and resources alone, but to do so requires restoring the scientific school, master technologies and production. Badrak said that taking into account the fact that the industrial cooperation in the defense industrial sector with Russia was suspended in March, apart from deliveries of helicopter engines, the key issue is what prospects of defense and technical cooperation with Russia when the war conflict is settled are. "Ukraine should refuse from defense and technical cooperation with Russia for ever. In coming years there will be problems with Russia, and Ukraine does not have the right to supply products for the Russian army," he said. Defense Express company director Serhiy Zhurets, the compensators of losses from the stop of the defense and technical cooperation with Russia could be the development of alternative markets by Ukrainian defense producers, the stirring up of defense and technical cooperation with the European Union and the United States, including the creation of new production facilities using western technologies and the joint promotion of new armament to the third countries' markets. One of the compensators should be the increase in the state defense order, he said. Zhurets said that Ukraine could use the factor of the political price and supply important spare parts to Russia, such as helicopter engines, as Russia does with the price of Russian gas for Ukraine and to pay the losses of Ukraine from the war aggression. The military expert paid attention to the necessity of the legal registration of the stoppage of defense cooperation with Russia: a statement of Poroshenko will be legal when the intergovernmental agreement with Russia in the defense and technical cooperation area and around 25 intergovernmental agreements regulating industrial cooperation in the defense sector are canceled," he said. Zhurets said that claims against Ukraine to court could be submitted by Russia due to the cancelation of bilateral agreements. He said that Ukraine should try to bring the claim to the negotiation process linked to the compensation of losses from the annexation of Crimea by Russia wit the attraction of international lawyers.