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MOSCOW, March 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia will allocate $4.1 million to the Russia-NATO Council Helicopter Maintenance Trust Fund in 2014.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed the relevant decree, according to a statement placed on the government’s website on Wednesday.
This measure is targeted “at training ground support personnel for technical maintenance and repair of Mi-17 and Mi-35 helicopters of Afghanistan’s army and delivery of spare parts to them,” the statement reads.
These funds are envisaged by the Russian Finance Ministry in the federal budget for 2014 for international relations and international cooperation.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has been instructed to make payments, inform the Executive Committee of the Russia-NATO Council Helicopter Maintenance Trust Fund and coordinate a procedure for transferring and using resources.
Speaking at the Russian Security Council on March 21, President Vladimir Putin said cooperation for the Helicopter Maintenance Project “should be continued, although our partners from NATO are set to freeze our interaction”.
“I believe this activity is of interest for all of us.” “We need to strengthen Afghanistan’s effective government. I ask you not to stop any activity,” Putin said, addressing Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “The government should ensure the relevant financing from the Russian budget.”
Lavrov said Russian partners in the North-Atlantic Alliance had frozen a whole range of directions of cooperation with the Russia-NATO Council.
“We have a joint project, the so-called helicopter project, jointly financed by Russia and western partners. It aims to help Afghanistan to repair machines made in the Soviet Union and Russia and train personnel to fly these helicopters and maintain them.”
“The first stage of the project has already taken place, it proved rather successful. Everybody thought it helped the Afghans to strengthen their capabilities in ensuring own security,” the diplomat said.