Ukraine and France may soon sign an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation with ALSTOM for the implementation of a project for the supply of electric locomotives to a company with partial localization of their production and maintenance in Ukraine.
This was announced by Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, who is the head of the the Ukrainian-French Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation, during negotiations with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of France to Ukraine Etienne de Ponsen and head of Ukrzaliznytsia JSC Volodymyr Zhmak on Friday, the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs said.
“We have been working on the details of a common project with the French side for a long time and in the near future we can reach the signing of an intergovernmental agreement that will fully meet the needs of Ukraine,” the press service quoted Avakov as saying.
Zhmak, in his turn, said during the negotiations that Ukrzaliznytsia has a very old park and it needs to be strategically updated. At this stage, according to him, Ukrzaliznytsia is interested in 50 two-system electric locomotives capable of transporting from 5,500 to 6,000 tonnes of cargo.
“We need these locomotives with a long-term system of maintenance and localization of production in Ukraine. At the second stage, we are interested in getting single-system locomotives,” he said.
CEO of ALSTOM Henri Poupart-Lafarge assured that it could be a reliable and long-term partner for Ukrzaliznytsia and Ukraine.
“We have been working in the market for many years and we can satisfy the needs of Ukrzaliznytsia. ALSTOM has experience in working in markets with the localization of production and service capacities. This strengthens our cooperation and creates new jobs. In particular, we work in this way in Kazakhstan and South Africa,” he said.
The ministry also notes that this project was founded in September 2018, when ALSTOM and Ukrzaliznytsya signed a memorandum of understanding, which formalizes cooperation in the provision and maintenance of electric locomotives. The financial model of the project involves the attraction of credit funds from the French State Treasury and other sources.
As reported, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky on October 27 met with CEO of ALSTOM Henri Poupart-Lafarge and discussed with him the prospects for the implementation of joint projects in the railway sector.
The French machine building company ALSTOM is one of the world leaders in the production of power equipment and railway transport.
Ukraine and France may sign an agreement within the framework of the Mixed Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation in the near future, Head of the Ukrainian side of the commission, Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov has said.
“We have been working on the details of a common project with the French side for a long time and in the near future we can reach an intergovernmental agreement that will fully meet the needs of Ukraine. Including the requirements set by the President of Ukraine regarding the localization of production at Ukrainian enterprises,” Avakov said at a meeting with CEO of ALSTOM Henri Poupart-Lafarge on Tuesday, the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine reports.
At a meeting with the participation of the French Ambassador to Ukraine Etienne de Poncins and the general director of Ukrzaliznytsia Volodymyr Zhmak, the parties discussed the prospects for implementation of the ALSTOM electric locomotive supply project with partial localization of their production and maintenance in Ukraine.
“We have a very outdated fleet of locomotives and we need to strategically update it. At this stage, we are interested in 50 two-system electric locomotives capable of transporting from 5,500 to 6,000 tonnes of cargo. We need these locomotives with a long-term maintenance system and localized production in Ukraine. At the second stage, we are interested in obtaining single-system locomotives,” Zhmak said during the negotiations.
Poupart-Lafarge, in turn, assured that ALSTOM could be a reliable and long-term partner for Ukrzaliznytsia and Ukraine.
“We have been working on the market for many years and we can meet the needs of Ukrzaliznytsia. ALSTOM has experience in working in markets with the localization of production and service capacities. This strengthens our cooperation and creates new jobs. In particular, we work in this way in Kazakhstan and South Africa,” he said.
De Poncins said that over the past two years, taking into account the active implementation of helicopter (Airbus Helicopters) and ship (OSEA) projects of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, a humanitarian project to improve water supply in Mariupol with the prospect of its spread to Luhansk region, the total cost of all economic cooperation programs between Ukraine and France is EUR 800 million.
Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak has said that a new ambassador of Ukraine to France will be appointed next week.
“Finally we will have a new ambassador to France, next week,” he said during a meeting of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky with businessmen in Khmelnytsky region on Wednesday, when asked by a participant of the meeting to help businesses establish contact with Ukraine’s embassies in a range of countries.
Oleh Shamshur has been working as Ambassador of Ukraine to France since October 2014.
The An-225 Mriya aircraft belonged to Antonov State Enterprise flew to China on April 15 to deliver medical supplies to help in fight against the coronavirus disease COVID-19 pandemic in France.
The state-owned enterprise (SOE) Antonov said on its Facebook page that the Mriya aircraft will take on board a new batch of medical supplies in China to fight COVID-19 and will land at Chalons Vatry Airport in France on April 18.
The enterprise also said that Antonov Company continues manufacturing the An-178 aircraft under the contract concluded by SpetsTechnoExport with the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Peru. As of today, the preparatory works for jig assembly of the aircraft’s fuselage have been completed.
“Assembly of the fuselage nose part (F1) and the fuselage center section (F-2) are at the final stage in the production shop. Manufacture of the central part of the wing, left and right cantilever parts of the wing, empennage has been fully completed. Two engine pylons are ready for further integration into the aircraft,” the company said in the statement on its website.
According to the company, to date, Antonov Airlines has already transported more than 1,400 tonnes of cargo from China to various countries in Europe, the United States, and the Middle East.
The French government has allocated technical assistance to the Ukrainian state concern Ukroboronprom in the amount of about EUR 900,000 Aivaras Abromavičius, director general of the state concern, has said.
“This is a sign of confidence in Ukraine, it is a sign of confidence in the changes that are taking place now in the Ukroboronprom concern … This is an amount close to EUR 900,000, one of the largest amounts that the French government has allocated to Ukraine,” he said at a briefing in Kyiv on Wednesday.
According to Abromavičius, this assistance will be used to fight corruption and raise corporate governance standards.
“France’s technical assistance will be directed in two main areas. This is, firstly, the anti-corruption area, and secondly, the improvement of corporate governance standards. In the area of anti-corruption policy, we plan to carry out a comprehensive criminalistics, so-called forensic, audit on some processes, contracts, which, unfortunately, the financial audit does not have the opportunity to reach,” he said.
He said that the forensic audit reveals hidden schemes and frauds that look like legitimate transactions, but are actually fraudulent, and there have been a lot historically in the concern.
Abromavičius stressed that the allocated funds would help build the best corporate governance standards in Ukroboronprom, according to Western standards.
“Within the project, we plan to develop new principles of corporate governance both at enterprises and at the concern itself. This is a large-scale project that requires time, which requires not only our efforts, but, as I said, the support of international partners. Branches of government will be involved, as well as Ukroboronprom partners themselves,” he added.
Abromavičius said that the French Embassy in Ukraine would choose a consultant company from the Big Four, and it will help find the best model for organizing a business.
“That is, we are starting to build a modern company,” he stressed.
According to Abromavičius, the forensic audit process should take four months.
“But, unfortunately, this information will be more for the leadership of the country, for the leadership of Ukroboronprom and for law enforcement agencies,” he said.
Head of Luhansk Regional State Administration Serhiy Haidai has met with Ambassador of France to Ukraine Etienne de Ponsen in Kyiv to discuss financing opportunities for the railway communication in Luhansk region.
“The meeting with the ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of France to Ukraine had good results for our region. We agreed on several issues and our French partners will provide financing for them. The amount of investment is estimated at more than EUR 100 million,” the press service of Luhansk Regional State Administration quoted Haidai as saying on Wednesday.
The funds will be spent on the construction of the railway communication to connect the Lantrativka – Kondrashivska-Nova section with the national railway system.
In addition, the sides agreed on the electrification of the railway network in the region and on the implementation of a project on cleaning the water supply system.
“The dialogue with Head of Luhansk Regional State Administration Serhiy Haidai regarding the priorities of the region’s economic development was very productive,” the ambassador said.