Filatov told the Ukrainian television reporter that he had a very frank discussion with some high level American politicians, telling them that if they didn't provide a troubled Ukrainian rocket engineering factory with their support, Ukraine's rocketry engineers might end up going to work for the North Korean missile program.
"I had a not so pleasant conversation with some very senior American politicians. I won't say with whom. I told them simply: if things continue like this, these people may end up in Iran or North Korea. Is this what you want?" Filatov recalled.denied the claims, while Russian aerospace officials said that two scenarios were possible – a leak from Ukrainian enterprises, or a direct sale.
Commenting on the NYT piece, Filatov said it was unfortunate that Ukrainians have the attitude "that everything written in the Western media is the unquestionable truth."
As for the present situation at Yuzhmash, the mayor said it is now "easier." "Before that it was simply hopelessly and catastrophically bad. And for us, unfortunately, you know how it is – if someone is to blame, it's the president, the mayor and the governor." Major problems remain, Filatov said, including "mind-boggling" debt.
Last week, the company reported that it was awaiting $8.2 million from Russia for the completion of the Zenit-2SLB launch vehicle, indicating that some level of cooperation continues. The company has also recently signed a contract to test Indian liquid fueled rocket engines over a two year period, and has reported that cooperation with the South Korean Korea Aerospace research Institute on the manufacture of rocket engine components will continue.