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Friday, 3 May, 2002, 17:00 GMT 18:00 UK
Russian jets miss Berlin show
MiG-29 fighter
MiG says its military aircraft sales are booming
Russia's MiG aircraft company has said it will not send its planes to the prestigious Berlin airshow because it fears they may be impounded by creditors.

MiG planned to display its new two-seater MiG-29 fighter jet and a light multi-purpose IL-103 plane at the show starting on Monday.

But a statement from the company said that "as the German judicial bodies refused to provide protection from the possible impounding of these planes at the behest of the notorious Swiss firm Noga, MiG has been forced to restrict its participation in the exhibition".

Noga says the Russian Government owes it $63m after reneging on a barter deal, under which the Swiss company supplied food and other commodities in exchange for Russian oil.

Ship seized

Noga managed to get the renowned Russian sailing ship Sedov impounded in July 2000 when it arrived in France to take part in an international regatta.

Sedov crew
The Sedov was seized with more than 100 students on board
The Sedov was finally allowed to leave the north-western port of Brest after a court ruled it could not be held for the Russian state's debts.

In May 2001, a court froze the accounts of the Russian embassy in Paris, its trade mission and delegation to Unesco at Noga's request. An appeals court in France overturned the ruling three months later.

Russian diplomats, and other official delegations in France, had been forced to make financial cut-backs.

Noga's lawyers are pursuing Russian assets in other places.

They went after the Russian planes at the Paris air show, but Russia was given permission to fly them out before they could be impounded.

MiG reported a big increase in business during 2001. In December the company said it was working on military contracts worth more than $900m.

See also:

24 Jul 00 | Europe
Seized Russian ship sets sail
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