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Russia Mulls Aircraft Assembly in India

Russia could agree on a deal to start assembling Sukhoi Superjet 100 and Irkut MS-21 passenger jets in India, an official at the Economic Development Ministry said Friday.

Russia is considering a number of projects to promote the country's airliners "with the possibility of cooperating in their production," said Yevgeny Popov, who heads the ministry's department of Asia and Africa, adding that this concerns both the Sukhoi Superjet 100, now being built in Russia, and the next-generation Irkut MS-21, due to enter production in a few years.

Popov made the statement ahead of the 19th meeting of the Russian-Indian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation in Moscow on Friday.

According to Indian experts, assembling the Russian passenger jets in India could cut production costs per plane by 40 percent, Popov said.

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