Russia has canceled the MAKS 2023 international air and space exhibition that was originally scheduled to be held in Zhukovsky from July 25-30.
The Moscow Times quoted sources as saying that the cancellation of one of the largest international air shows was due to the war between Russia and Ukraine and the existence of Western sanctions against Russia.
As is known, Western countries imposed tough sanctions on the Russian aviation industry shortly after the Kremlin’s decision to send tanks to Ukraine.
MAKS is held with the aim of strengthening relations with foreign partners.
“MAKS was used to strengthen relations with foreign partners and now it has lost its original meaning,” said military expert Valery Shiryaev.
The cancellation of MAKS, a biennial event that began in 1993, has had an impact on other major public events. MAKS has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors and brought in participants from dozens of countries.
At MAKS 2021, 20 countries participated and resulted in agreements worth 265 billion rubles (3.31 billion USD).
The MAKS 2023 cancellation was also affected, according to media reports, by concerns about drone attacks and a lack of visitors.
In addition, in connection with the operation carried out by the Russian Air Force, it is feared that there will be a decrease in participation in the air show.
Even if the MAKS 2023 contract continues, exhibitors are expected to come from only five countries, namely India, Iran, China, Serbia and Belarus.
Five sources in the aviation industry told the Kommersant Business daily on Wednesday that another reason for the cancellation of the show was the growing security concerns.
As is known, there has been an increase in drone attacks in recent weeks, including attacks on the Kremlin.
Russia has canceled a series of other traditional public events since the invasion of Ukraine due to security concerns, including a military parade to commemorate the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazism.
With MAKS 2023 cancelled, some locals in the city of Zhukovsky in the Moscow region expressed relief.
“All these activities are always very dangerous,” said Stanislav, a resident of Zhukovsky.
“This is a very wise decision given the high security threat this year,” he added.
Vladimir Avdeev, a local resident, who was also happy about the cancellation, said the event seemed pointless amid the ongoing Ukrainian war.
He said that Russian Air Force pilots are now focusing more on combat missions in Ukraine where they are required to demonstrate their skills.
MAKS 2023 is scheduled to be delayed until next summer.