The management of the Antonov state enterprise believes that complaints about the funds allocated for production of An-70 planes for the Ministry of Defense should be addressed to the previous heads of the Aviant plant (now known as the Antonov Serial Production Plant), Serhii Shevchenko and Valerii Kozorezov.

"The amount of UAH 1.376 billion was envisaged for construction of two aircraft. In reality, UAH 331 million in funding was provided in 2007. Not a single hryvnia in funding was received after that. The Aviant plant signed the agreement at the time, and the Antonov state enterprise, the Antonov ASTC, and Dmytro Kiva personally had nothing to do with it. It was a direct agreement with the Aviant plant. The enterprise had two general directors at that time - Shevchenko and Kozorezov. That was the time when the funding was provided," the Antonov Serial Production Plant’s Director Mykola Podhrebelnyi said at a press conference on Friday, the CFTS reports.

He also recalled that the main customer for the An-70 plane was the Ministry of Defense and that the co-executor of the project was the Ministry of Industrial Policy. Production of the aircraft was supposed to be financed by the Ministry of Defense and preparation for its production by the Industrial Policy. "Therefore, the fact that ‘development’ is stated in the accusation by the chief military prosecutor is wrong because the issue in question was already mass production," said Podhrebelnyi.

Meanwhile, according to him, the Ministry of Defense allocated only UAH 331 million and the Ministry of Industrial Policy UAH 25 million. "It is impossible to manufacture a plane without tools. Therefore, the plant was forced to take the Ministry of Defense’s money to make the tools. But that decision is on the conscience of the previous leaders, and they are the ones who should be asked why they made tools with that money," said Podhrebelnyi.

He also recalled that the Antonov Serial Production Plant was merged with the Antonov design bureau only in 2009 and that the entire complex came under the control of Antonov’s current head Kiva only after that. The debts of the plant amounted to UAH 1.9 billion at that time.

Kiva himself expressed surprise that the military prosecutor's office claimed that the aircraft still does not exist despite the fact that the Ministry of Defense signed the act of completion of joint state tests on the An-70 on 5 June 2014 following its modernization.

As reported, the Main Military Prosecutor's Office has opened criminal proceedings against officials of the Antonov state enterprise on suspicion of abuse of office and negligence that led to multi-million hryvnia losses. In particular, according to Chief Military Prosecutor Anatolii Matios, Antonov spent UAH 111 million on development of the An-70 military transport aircraft from 2006 to 2012, "but the aircraft still does not exist."