US buys 10 Russian choppers for Afghanistan

June 14th, 2012 - 9:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, June 14 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The Pentagon is buying ten Mi-17 helicopters from Russia’s state-run weapons broker Rosoboronexport for the Afghan military, the company said Thursday.

“I can confirm to you that we have indeed been approached by the US Defense Department about the purchase of ten Mi-17s,” said the company’s spokesperson Vyacheslav Davidenko.

Though Davidenko declined to disclose the value of the purchase, Rosoboronexport signed a $367 million deal with the US in May 2011 for delivery of 21 Mi-17V5s.

The Pentagon is also reported to have bought two Mi-17s earlier this year.

The US Defense Department has been under pressure over its dealings with the company after US Senator John Cornyn accused the firm of selling arms to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

US State Secretary Hillary Clinton said Tuesday Russia was sending attack helicopters to Syria, a claim dismissed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who accused the US of arming rebels fighting against Assad’s rule.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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