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)