Boeing Unveils Massive Titanium Joint Venture In Russia

Venture will supply $18 billion worth of titanum parts for 787 Dreamliner.

MOSCOW (AP) - President Vladimir Putin pledged support Friday for Boeing Co.'s Russian projects at a Kremlin meeting with the head of the company's civilian aircraft division.

The meeting between Putin and Alan Mulally came as Boeing and Russia's titanium monopoly VSMPO-Avisma unveiled a joint venture that will supply some $18 billion worth of titanium parts to the aerospace giant for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

''Today's event will allow us to achieve a new level of cooperation,'' Putin said. ''We, for our part, will support the development of your business in Russia.''

Mulally noted that 2,000 Russian engineers help Boeing design its aircraft.

The agreement comes a week after the U.S. State Department announced sanctions on seven Russian companies over their dealings with Iran, a move that some feared could threaten Boeing projects in Russia.

Boeing has said its key projects would not be affected, and pledged Friday to work closely with all government agencies to ensure the joint venture and all other activities in Russia remain compliant with all U.S. and international obligations.

The 50-50 joint venture announced Friday will produce titanium parts for the Dreamliner. VSMPO-Avisma general director Vladislav Tetyukhin said that 10 percent of the 787 would be Russian titanium parts.

Boeing said in a statement that VSMPO-Avisma will perform rough machining of titanium forgings. Final machining and processing of the forgings will be completed by Boeing's Portland, Oregon, fabrication facility and other machining subcontractors.

Last week, Washington said that Russia's state arms exporter, Rosoboronexport, and top aircraft maker Sukhoi were among companies that had violated the Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000 aimed at preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction to Tehran.

Both companies denied any violations, and the Russian government criticized the U.S. move as harmful for bilateral ties.

Boeing is working with Sukhoi on a venture to design and manufacture a mid-sized passenger jet for regional lines, while Rosoboronexport is expected to take a controlling stake in VSMPO-Avisma.

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