KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's participation in Russia's global satellite navigation project is in the country's national interest, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Semynozhenko said on Wednesday.
The GLONASS - the Global Navigation Satellite System - is the Russian equivalent of the U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS, and is designed for both military and civilian use. Both systems allow users to determine their positions to within a few meters.
"Ukraine needs an alternative - apart from GPS, the GLONASS system is needed. This fits with the national interests of Ukraine - we cannot depend on only one system," Semynozhenko said at a news briefing.
Russia has proposed setting up a joint venture with Ukraine for the development and implementation of the GLONASS system, Akexander Gurko, the head of Russian company Information and Navigation Systems that is part of the GLONASS project, told a Russian-Ukraine economic forum on Tuesday.
According to Semynozhenko, Russian and Ukrainian partners are in talks about the joint production of GLONASS satellites and cooperation between national space agencies in satellite launches.
He added that an earlier proposal to create a Russian-Ukrainian investment fund to finance large scale projects difficult for a single country, such as the development of 4G networks and the manufacturing of innovative medical equipment, is now being discussed at government level.