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12 September 2011
Putin expects proposals on aircraft leasing

MOSCOW. Sept 12 (Interfax) - Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called for the use of leasing involving Vnesheconombank to modernize Russia's air fleet.

"I ask you to submit proposals on the development of modern aircraft leasing using leasing schemes and involving leasing institutions, including Vnesheconombank", Putin said at a government meeting on air transportation safety.

Earlier, President Dmitry Medvedev gave the government until February 1 to "take urgent measures to ensure subsidies for the leasing of airworthy civil aircraft irrespective of where they were produced and to ensure subsidies for local and regional air carriages."

Medvedev's instructions followed the Yak-42 crash near Yaroslval.

On September 8, Medvedev convened a meeting on the causes of the crash, during which he demanded "radical changes in civil aviation".

He made clear that passengers' lives must have priority over the interests of domestic producers.

"The government will have to make a hard decision… The value of human life outweighs any other considerations, including support for domestic producers. If our producers are not up to the job, we will need to buy aircraft abroad," Medvedev said.

"This should be a large program. We will need to find money for it," he said.