It’s outrageous that Ukraine received helicopters which Russia sold to the US as aid for Afghanistan, the ambassador said
FILE PHOTO: A Mi-17 helicopter of the Afghan army. © Michael Kappeler / picture alliance via Getty Images
The US is breaching its international obligations and its own policies with its latest package of military aid to Ukraine, Russian Ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov said on Wednesday. Among other things, Washington failed to get Russia’s permission before diverting four Mi-17 helicopters from the original destination of Afghanistan to Ukraine, he pointed out.
The diplomat was responding to last week’s announcement by the US Department of Defense, which listed the aircraft as slated to be handed over to Ukraine. The four Mi-17 helicopters were presumably the aircraft purchased by the US for the Afghan national army before the US-backed government in Kabul fell to Taliban forces in August last year. Ukraine was servicing the aircraft and was supposed to send them to Afghanistan.
The transfer of the helicopters “was done in violation of the end user certificate, which required written consent from Russia,” the ambassador said. He called it a “blatant violation” of American obligations as the buyer and claimed that Washington stonewalled Russia’s demands for an explanation.