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Russia plans to supply Mi-17 helicopters to Afghanistan

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A file photo of Mi-17 helicopters.

MOSCOW (BNS): Russia plans to supply Mi-17 helicopters to Afghanistan under a possible NATO contract, a media report said.

"The Russian side is definitely interested in this (deal); there are no impediments on our side," RIA Novosti quoted Sergei Prikhodko, Deputy Head of Kremlin staff as saying.

“Russia is ready for the supply of helicopters under a possible NATO contract and to be part of a US-run tender for supplying helicopters to the Afghan military,” he added.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai will discuss the issue in Sochi on Wednesday.

Rosoboronexport, Russia's state arms exporter is also preparing to compete in a US tender to deliver Mi-17 helicopters to Afghanistan.

United States has recently lifted sanctions against Rosoboronexport for tendering arms deal with the nation. The sanctions were imposed in 2006, for violating the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

Over the past four years, dozens of Mi-17s have been bought by the US for Afghanistan and Iraq via intermediaries as commercial items, thus avoiding direct contacts with Rosoboronexport, the report said.

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