Ukraine won’t affect ANSF chopper deal: Pentagon
WASHINGTON (PAN): The ongoing spat with Russia on Ukraine, which has triggered US sanctions against Moscow, will not have any impact on the purchase of M-17 helicopters for the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), the Pentagon said on Tuesday.
“The best I understand the sanctions that were announced yesterday, they do not affect the Defense Department specifically, and specifically through the contracts for Mi-17s,” Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters.
On Monday, the United States announced imposing a series of sanctions on Russia, including export restrictions. “The Secretary (of Defense) fully supports the diplomatic and economic pressure that the president continues to place on Moscow. There's no gap there,” Kirby said.
The president has said many times he believes that is the right way to apply pressure on Moscow and that there is not going to be a US military solution to the issue in Ukraine. “So separate and apart from that, this particular contract provides Mi-17 helicopters and supplies and spare parts for the Afghan national security forces.”
Kirby said: “That is the helicopter that they (Afghans) fly. That is what they're used to flying. That is a helicopter that meets their security needs, and so we continue to support it through that contract.”
He maintained that the developments in Ukraine were unlikely to have an impact on American policies in Afghanistan.
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