Up in Arms: Ukrainian aircraft-engine plant caught up in US-China rivalry

The Chinese companies would receive a controlling stake, while Ukroboronprom would receive at least a 25% blocking stake

Ukrainian tycoon Vyacheslav Boguslayev is having a hard time parting with the company he has controlled for the past three decades, and it’s not just because it is close to his heart.

The 80-year old is caught up in the global rivalry between the United States and China as he seeks to sell his defense company, Motor Sich.

At stake for Ukraine is potentially billions of dollars of investment from China, thousands of jobs, and eventual membership in NATO, analysts say.

The possible sale of Motor Sich – a maker of engines for missiles, helicopters, and jets – to the Chinese provoked a raid of its Zaporizhzhya headquarters by Ukraine’s Security Service in early 2018 and the seizure of its shares.

The issue has become so important to Washington that U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton said he will raise his “concerns” about the sale during his current visit to Ukraine.

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