Russian aviation authorities have fired an official who said last week that China had refused to supply Russian airlines with aircraft parts in the wake of Western sanctions, the Kommersant newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing sources and the official.
Valery Kudinov, an official at Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) responsible for maintaining airplane airworthiness, said Russia was in talks to source parts from countries including Turkey and India after a failed attempt to obtain them from China.
An industry source confirmed to Reuters that Kudinov had been sacked, adding that he lost his job because of his public statements about China. Rosaviatsia declined to comment.
Russian newspaper Kommersant cited Kudinov as saying that he had been fired for disclosing information under a federal law governing how civil servants must behave.
Russia’s aviation sector is being squeezed by Western sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine.
Russia on Monday passed a law allowing the country’s airlines to place airplanes leased from foreign companies on the country’s aircraft register and use them in Russia even without permission of their owner, after Bermudian and Irish regulators suspended the certifications of Russian planes registered there.
Sanctions have already cut off the supply of most foreign aircraft and parts to Russia, as major international airplane manufacturers Boeing and Airbus have halted the supply of components. The United States and Europe have closed their airspace to Russian airlines, with Russia responding in kind.