Poland breaks off negotiations with Airbus Helicopters over military tender
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland’s Development Ministry has ended negotiations over an offset deal with Airbus Helicopters, which had been one of the conditions for Poland’s purchase of 50 aircraft.
A Caracal helicopter. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
“Differences in the negotiating stances of both sides prevented us from arriving at a compromise, as a result of which conducting further talks is now pointless,” the Ministry said in a statement.
The previous Civic Platform-led government chose to purchase 50 ‘Eurocopter’ EC725 helicopters for a price of PLN 13.5 billion (EUR 3.2 billion) in April 2015, rejecting rival offers from the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and AgustaWestland PZL Świdnik.
The decision to purchase from a French firm rather than a Polish one was met with domestic criticism at the time. The current Law and Justice government gave indications that it might cancel the deal after winning elections in October 2015.
The Development Ministry defended its approach. “During a year-long negotiation, the Polish side was open minded and ready to work on potential solutions which could be accepted by both sides.”
According to government representatives, the Polish side wanted offset deals to be worth around PLN 13.5 billion, the same as the helicopter purchase itself. Without an offset deal the main purchase cannot go ahead.
“This is a good lesson to all who want to talk with the Polish government, that if we agree on something then we expect that negotiations will aim to realize this agreement,” said deputy Defence Minister Bartosz Kownacki,.
“Now it will be necessary to conduct an analysis of to what extent and under what conditions the Polish Army will need helicopters, and how we should buy them,” Kownacki added.
Meanwhile MPs from the now opposition Civic Platform party speculated the government may have deliberately sabotaged the offset negotiations to provide an excuse for cancelling the deal. (sl/rg)