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Russia to sell planes to Cuba

July 14, 2004 at 3:56 PM

MOSCOW, July 14 (UPI) -- The Cuban government has agreed to pay $100 million for two passenger planes from the Russian manufacturer Ilyushin.

Cubana Aviation and Ilyushin Finans Co. signed an agreement for delivery next spring of two large planes that can transport at least 200 passengers, according to the news agency Novosti.

The planes are used widely by the Russian airlines Aeroflot and Domodedovo Airlines. One of the planes also has functions like the Russian version of the American presidential plane, Air Force One. It has transported the Russian president Vladmir Putin, and is named "Putinavia."

Viktor Livanoc, director general of the airline plant Ilyushin, said that the agreement with Cuba should send a message to other countries for acquiring Russian planes.

"All the conversation surrounding the Russian aeronautic industry is that it is not capable of competing with the foreign producers who really want to flood Russia with secondhand planes," said Livanoc.

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