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Should NATO and US continue with Russian helicopter contracts?

According to a report from Politico, members of Congress, along with NATO allies are grappling with helicopter contracts they have with Russian producers. Should the contracts be completed or cancelled? It makes little sense to reward Russia for their behavior in the Ukraine, and frankly their position in Syria too. Why would members of the EU forfeit their own opportunity to supply helicopters, helping their own industry versus letting contracts to Russians? Furthermore, the Berlin Air Show is coming in May. Is it too late to lock out the Russians? Why should Russians be permitted the opportunity to showcase their products at free-nation events like that? It is President Obama who has failed to break the deal with the Russians, according to the Politico report. That is another mistake by Barack Obama.

Obama on Russian eggs
Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

“Members of Congress who support American helicopter-builders sent a letter to Kerry, repeating their condemnation of the Obama administration’s unwillingness to break its deal with Russia’s state arms exporter for a batch of helicopters destined for the Afghan National Security Forces. The members, led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), also said other NATO members should cancel their arms contracts with Russia, pointing to France’s planned sale of amphibious ships to the Russian navy.

‘We believe the United States must show leadership by terminating all defense contracts with Russia and ask that you strongly encourage our NATO allies … to take similar actions,’ they wrote.”

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