HomeTop StoriesAirbus rolls out first A400M bound for Kazakhstan

Airbus rolls out first A400M bound for Kazakhstan

MILAN – The first A400M aircraft for Kazakhstan has rolled out of the paint shop at Airbus Defense and Space facilities in Spain, the company announced in an April 15 statement.

The impending delivery of the cargo plane comes at a time when the Central Asian country is trying to balance its ties with the West while maintaining relations with Russia.

Ahead of the war in Ukraine in 2021, Astana ordered two examples of the aircraft, the first of which is expected to be delivered later this year, Airbus said.

Kazakhstan has faced a complex political conundrum in recent years because it shares a 7,000-kilometer border with Russia. The government has increasingly demonstrated that it is pursuing its own independent policies, choosing to maintain a neutral position on the war in Ukraine and pledging to maintain Western sanctions on Moscow.

Although many experts have noted that the country appears to want to distance itself from the Kremlin, in practice this may be more difficult to achieve for the former Soviet Union state.

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In a recent one reportBritish think tank Chatham House highlighted that economic trade between the two countries reached record highs in 2022 and 2023, reaching $26 billion and $27 billion respectively, including exports of dual-use goods.

“Almost half of all foreign companies working in Kazakhstan are now Russian, and there is enormous interest in the country from Russian state-owned and private companies with ties to the Kremlin,” the report said.

An Airbus spokesperson told Defense News the company is not concerned about the customer’s ties to Russia.

“Airbus is firmly committed to conducting business ethically, based on corporate values ​​and in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations, which also apply to the A400M Kazakhstan contracts,” the spokesperson told Defense in an email News.

The Central Asian state was already an Airbus customer before the flagship A400M purchase, having bought two of the company’s C295 military airlifters in 2017.

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