Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of Russia did everything on Tuesday but stare at MiG and Sukhoi with his finger and his thumb in the shape of an L on his forehead, a la Smash Mouth.
Russia's United Aircraft Corporation, corporate parent of both fighter-makers, is now $3.76 billion in the red after squandering opportunities to sell off non-core assets, float shares and restructure, Putin said during opening ceremonies for MAKS air show outside Moscow.
"I would like to warn you against the illusion that the state will endlessly cover losses, bail out companies or correct mistakes by management," Putin says.
But not yet. Only moments before before making the above statement, Putin announced plans to inject $100 million in cash to stabilize Sukhoi and to consider pumping another $470 million in state aid to MiG. Last year, the Russian government bailed out MiG's finances with a similar cash injection, and assumed a $570 million order for 34 MiG-29SMTs rejected by Algeria.
Putin also announced a $2.5 billion order for 64 new Sukhoi fighters through 2015.
Just don't expect more of the same, he says.
"We cannot resort to this practice all the time," Putin says. "We can work effectively in this country and we should achieve this by all means."