Russia's RusPromAvto automobile holding plans to start assembling the engines of Spanish truck maker Iveco this year at the facilities of GAZ, Russia's largest producer of utility vehicles, the head of the public relations department of RusPromAvto, Vladimir Torin, told a press conference Thursday, the Prime-Tass News agency reported.

GAZ is RusPromAvto's subsidiary, while Iveco is a part of Italy's Fiat.

Torin said that the relevant agreement would be signed in Italy in the near future. He added that Iveco plans to supply about 5,000 engines to Russia in 2003.

Currently Iveco and RusPromAvto are in talks on creating the joint venture facility, which is expected to be launched by spring 2003.

GAZ' press service reported Thursday that the joint venture is expected to assemble at least 15,000 diesel engines in 2004.

RusPromAvto, a subsidiary of Russia's aluminum major Siberian Aluminum (SibAl), also controls also the Ural Automobile Plant and a number of Russian bus manufacturers.