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Cost Of Russia-China Airplane Project Estimated at $13 Billion

A proposed joint project between China and Russia to develop a wide-body aircraft will cost around $13 billion, the president of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), Yury Slyusar, was quoted as saying by the TASS news agency on Thursday.

According to Russia aviation news portal ATO.ru, the project was first discussed in a 2012 intergovernmental memorandum but a decision to move forward with the project happened only in September of last year.

Slyusar said that the preliminary design of the aircraft should be finished by July, and that "we have already agreed upon a business concept [for the aircraft] and submitted it to the government."

However, the project's budget must be recalculated in view of the ruble's collapse, Slyusar said. Russia and China are splitting the costs of the project 50-50, though a delineation of work has yet to be worked out.

The value of the ruble has plummeted by over 50 percent to the U.S. dollar since last summer under the weight of Western sanctions and the falling price of oil, Russia's main export.

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