Bolivia to host servicing center for Russian aircraft

BUENOS AIRES, October 25 (RIA Novosti) – A technical support and repair facility for Russian aircraft in Bolivia will be built at a former U.S. base near the town of Chimore in the center of the country, Bolivian President Evo Morales said.

“The Russian government has proposed to create a servicing center for Russian aircraft flying in Latin America. This center will be built here, in Chimore…and will later become an international airport, the largest in Bolivia,” the Bolivian Patria Nueva radio quoted the president as saying at a Saturday meeting with his supporters prior to December 6 presidential elections.

Morales said the initial investment in the construction is estimated at $5 million and the length of the existing runway will be extended by three times “to receive the most modern aircraft.”

Morales discussed last week the delivery of Russian aircraft with Nikolai Patrushev, chief of the Russian Security Council.

Russia’s Ilyushin Finance Co. leasing company is planning to deliver about 60 An-148 regional passenger jets in the next decade.

Russia received in August a request from the Bolivian government for a $100-mln loan to finance the purchase of a new presidential plane and a variety of Russian-made military equipment, including Mi-17 Hip multipurpose helicopters to combat terrorism and drug trafficking.

During the talks in February, Moscow and La Paz signed a bilateral agreement on military-technical cooperation.

Source: RIA Novosti

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