Italy-Russia submarine project suspended over Ukraine crisis - Itar-Tass

MOSCOW, July 25 Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:36am EDT

MOSCOW, July 25 (Reuters) - An Italian-Russian project to build a new generation small submarine has been suspended because of the "political situation" following Western sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis, Itar-Tass news agency said on Friday.

The decade-old deal between Russian company Rubin and Italian shipmaker Fincantieri to build a 1,000-ton diesel submarine, the S-1000, is part of President Vladimir Putin's plans to revamp Russia's fighting force.

"To our regret, due to the well-known political situation this project has been suspended," Itar-Tass quoted Igor Vilnit, the head of Rubin's Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering, as saying.

Rubin declined immediate comment to Reuters.

The latest round of U.S. sanctions targeted Russian arms producers, including some of the most iconic names in Soviet and Russian weaponry.

The downing of a Malaysian passenger jet in eastern Ukraine has also put the spotlight on arms cooperation with Moscow, including French plans to deliver a helicopter carrier to Russia. (Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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