Number of US Firms at MAKS Air Show Unchanged Despite Sanctions

© REUTERS / Maxim ShemetovVisitors walk along a row of planes and helicopters on display at the MAKS International Aviation and Space Salon in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, Russia, August 25, 2015
Visitors walk along a row of planes and helicopters on display at the MAKS International Aviation and Space Salon in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, Russia, August 25, 2015 - Sputnik International
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The president and CEO of Kallman Worldwide, which specializes in marketing and organizing trade exhibitions and conferences in the aerospace sector claims that the quantity of US firms represented at Russia’s MAKS air show has not diminished despite the current difficulties in US-Russian relations.

ZHUKOVSKY (Sputnik), Alexander Mosesov — The quantity of US firms represented at Russia’s MAKS air show has not diminished despite the current difficulties in US-Russian relations, Thomas Kallman, president and CEO of Kallman Worldwide, which specializes in marketing and organizing trade exhibitions and conferences in the aerospace sector, told Sputnik on Wednesday.

"This is our tenth year organizing the US pavilion at MAKS. The size of the pavilion remains pretty much the same. What I have been able to do is to find companies that are prospecting, that are looking for new business [in Russia]," Kallman told Sputnik at the MAKS-2015 salon, adding that most firms exhibiting at MAKS have well-established businesses in the country.

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There are currently over 10 US aerospace companies represented at the salon. The large-scale aviation event kicked off in the Russian town of Zhukovsky, near Moscow, on Tuesday and is due to finish on August 30.

"Interoperability between Russian-made and American-made products is a challenge that has to be overcome. Americans have proven that they are ready to cross the ocean and do business, joint venture and integrated solutions, but they haven't got as far as Russia," Kallman said.

"What American businesses don't understand is a high level of expertise that exists here in Russia and the opportunity to make the product in Russia under license or through other type of partnership," Kallman noted.

Producing avionics equipment in Russia would be "much more affordable on the global mark," he said.

"If I had the opportunity to meet with the Russian president I would say to him that the idea of the US pavilion itself is not to sell products but to sell relationships. I'm here to prove, to send an example that we can do business together. We should talk about close bonds of commerce that hopefully could bring us closer," Kallman stressed.

Kallman also added that US aerospace firms actively communicate with Russian government officials and businessmen at MAKS.

"I know the president of Boeing Russia had about 10 minutes one-on-one with {Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin yesterday. Many meeting taking place, receptions here and in Moscow so there is a lot of business taking place for sure," he explained.

A visitor takes a picture of a Tupolev Tu-144 commercial supersonic transport aircraft on display at the MAKS International Aviation and Space Salon in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, Russia, August 25, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Last year, Russia's relations with the West deteriorated significantly over the Ukraine crisis. In 2014, the European Union, alongside the United States and a number of other nations, accused Russia of interfering with Ukraine's internal affairs, and imposed several rounds of sanctions on Moscow. The Russian authorities have repeatedly denied the allegations.

Despite the souring of relations, Moscow and Washington continue to cooperate in a number industries, including aviation and space.

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