Bangkok, March 10 (EFE).- The Philippines will maintain its contract for the purchase of 17 Russian military transport helicopters, an agreement was signed in November and partially paid in January, before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the defense ministry.
The agreement, worth PHP 12.7 billion ($ 244 million), would see the arrival of the first batch of Sovtechnoexport helicopters in mid-2024, two years after President Rodrigo Duterte leaves the post upon completion of his single six-year term.
“We do not see any probability that the agreement will be annulled at this time,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in statements reported Thursday by the Manila Sun Star newspaper. He said “time will tell” if the Russian invasion of Ukraine ends up affecting the purchase.
The Philippines voted in favor of the United Nations General Assembly resolution demanding that Moscow immediately end its attack on Ukraine and withdraw its troops, while Duterte said he was concerned but did not expressly condemn the Russian attack.
In recent months, the Philippines signed several deals to modernize its aging military equipment, including the $627 million contract signed last month for 32 32 S-70i Black Hawk helicopters from Polish company PZL Mielec.
The Philippine Army, a historical ally of the United States, maintains confrontations within its territory with Muslim and communist insurgent movements. EFE