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Philippines decides to not buy Russian Mi-17 helicopters fearing US sanctions.

| 2022

BANGKOK, August 3. /TASS-DEFENSE/. The Philippine authorities decided in June that they would scrap a deal on purchasing 16 Russian Mil Mi-17 transport helicopters in fear of possible US sanctions, the Associated Press reported, citing Philippine Former Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, whose terms in office ended on June 30.

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Philippines decides to not buy Russian Mi 17 helicopters fearing US sanctions 01 Mil Mi-17 (Picture source: Vitaly V. Kuzmin)

“We could face sanctions,” Lorenzana told the agency.

Meanwhile, Philippine Ambassador to Washington Jose Manuel Romualdez told AP that in case of sealing the deal with Russia, the US could impose sanctions on the Philippines under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

A Defense Ministry source told AP that the Russians may lodge an appeal, but nevertheless Manila is unlikely to reconsider its decision on scrapping the helicopter deal.

The Mi-17 contract between Moscow and Manila was signed in November 2020, the first batch was expected to be delivered in 24 months. An initial payment under the overall 12.7-billion-peso ($243.4 million) deal was made by the Philippines in January 2022.

On March 10, 2022, Lorenzana said that the Philippine authorities did not plan to scrap the Mi-17 deal with Russia because of the Ukrainian conflict and expressed an opinion that the US CAATSA law could not interfere with the contract implementation, as the initial payment for the helicopters had already been made.

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