Czech Republic receives first helicopters from Russia as payment for debts

The Czech Republic received a first shipment of three combat helicopters from Russia on Wednesday as part of a debt repayment, an official said.

Another seven Mi-35 helicopter gunships and 16 transport Mi-171 helicopters are to be delivered by the end of 2006 under the US$184 million deal, which was signed in September, Defense Ministry spokesman Petr Sykora said.

Russia owes about 17.9 billion koruna (US$778.2 million) to the Czech Republic.

Associated Press

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