MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Russian Helicopters company is holding talks with the Afghan Defense Ministry on Russian military equipment maintenance and repair works, including the Mi-24 combat helicopters, the company's press service said Sunday.
"Russian Helicopters [part of the Rostec state corporation] is holding talks with the Afghan Defense Ministry. On this stage, different options for cooperation, concerning repair and maintenance of Russian military equipment, which is currently exploited in Afghanistan, are considered," the statement said.
The press service specified that company prepared a number of suggestions on a range of projects, including Mi-24 combat helicopters' maintenance.
The Afghan armed forces currently exploit Russian Mi-17 helicopters, as well as old Mi-24s supplied from India. In line with the contracts, the maintenance of these helicopters was financed by the United States. However, the United States refused to further provide money along with the sanctions imposed on Russia in 2014 against the background of Ukrainian conflict. The US officials also refused to buy new vehicles from Russia for the Afghan army.
Earlier this month, Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani expressed hope that Moscow would open a servicing center for helicopters in Afghanistan as soon as possible, saying the issue of maintenance of the Russian helicopters in Afghanistan and establishment of a workshop in the country had been previously discussed with Lavrov.