Moscow not planning to give away helicopters to Afghanistan free of charge, says diplomat

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Mi-17 helicopter

Mi-17 helicopter


© Marina Lystseva/TASS

MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. Moscow has no intention of providing helicopters to Afghanistan for free, Russian Presidential Representative for Afghanistan and Director of the Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department, Zamir Kabulov, told TASS in an interview.

“The current leadership of Afghanistan is behaving in Russian-Afghan relations in such a way that we have no wish at all,” Kabulov said. “It is utterly unreasonable for an unfriendly president to demand gifts from us. They are not asking for something trifle. What they are asking for is necessary for the Russian military and costs a lot.”

Asked about Washington’s refusal to help Afghanistan purchase aircraft from Russia, the diplomat said that Kabul should look for other avenues to bankroll the deal.

“If the Americans wish to provide their helicopters, they are free to do so. If the Afghan government wants to have our helicopters, it should look for ways of persuading the Americans or other donors,” Kabulov said.

Earlier, the Afghan authorities had repeatedly shown interest in building up military-technical cooperation with Moscow. Russian companies were asked to provide Mi-17 helicopters to Afghanistan.

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