The secretary of the Supreme Rada’s National Defense and Security Committee, Ivan Vinnik, has revealed why the country cannot complete the construction of its own missile cruiser.
“Unfortunately, I cannot advise any positive solution, because in reality the Armed Forces of Ukraine cannot afford to have such a high-class ship from the point of view of price, to finish its assembly and to use it fully,” he said in an interview with a Ukrainian edition.
According to him, the construction of the cruiser could “significantly increase the capabilities” of Ukraine in the Black Sea. However, it acknowledged that even if it receives the necessary resources, the country will not be able to guarantee its equipment, since it does not have the necessary anti-aircraft defense, monitoring, fire control and anti-missile defense systems.
The politician recalled that initially the project was drawn up in partnership between Kiev and Moscow.
The construction of this ship, the 4th of the Atlant 1164 project, began in 1984 in Nikolaev, still in the time of the USSR. Six years later, it was 75% ready, while in 1993 it was owned by Ukraine.
In 1998, the authorities tried to complete the construction, but faced a shortage of resources. Then the possibility of selling the ship to Russia was discussed. Already in 2013, the Ukrainian side proposed to finalize the construction of the ship by passing it onto Russian companies, but could not reach agreement with Moscow.
In March 2017, Pyotr Poroshenko signed a decree on the use of the cruiser for civil purposes.
This comes as relations between Kiev and Moscow have been strained since the right-wing coup in 2014. This culminated with battles between state-backed coup forces and self-defense militias in the Donbass, as well as the eventual reunification of Crimea to Russia. With these events, Moscow has not been able to open cordial relations with its neighbor despite its efforts.