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Poland says ended talks with Airbus on helicopter deal

WARSAW Oct 4 Poland has scrapped a 13.5 billion zlotys ($3.5 billion) deal for 50 Airbus utility helicopters that were to be delivered to the Polish army, the economy ministry said late on Tuesday.

"Poland considers the negotiations regarding the offset agreement with Airbus Helicopters related to the contract for the purchase of Caracal multi-role helicopters for the Polish army as finished," the ministry said.

Poland's previous centrist government, beaten by the eurosceptic Law and Justice (PiS) party in elections last October, agreed a provisional deal with Airbus for 50 EC-725 Caracal multi-purpose helicopters.

That meant turning down offers from Sikorsky in the United States and AgustaWestland in Italy.

Earlier this year local media reported that Poland scrapped the deal, but Airbus said talks were continuing.

"For the Polish government the top priority is to ensure the security of the state and the conditions for the development of the Polish defence industry. Discrepancies in the negotiating positions of both sides make it impossible to reach a compromise, and therefore the continuation of talks is pointless," the ministry also said. ($1 = 3.8488 zlotys) (Reporting by Pawel Sobczak Writing by Agnieszka Barteczko; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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