According to The Latin American Tribune, Perú, in the coming years will jointly manufacture Russian helicopters, the Andean nation’s defense minister said Wednesday (June 11) while denying that Lima plans to buy armored vehicles from Moscow.
Pedro Cateriano told reporters that the government has purchased 24 helicopters from Russia and said that the accord includes the establishment of a maintenance and repair plant for the aircraft which will begin operating in 2016.
The deal will allow Perú “to take a great leap” in Latin America, given that the plant – during its first operational phase – will be dedicated to repairing and maintaining the Russian aircraft that are situated in the region. During its second phase, it will jointly produce helicopters in the country, the minister said.
COMMENT: Understandably, as Perú continues to turn "left," and lean toward Mother Russia, Washington's influence continues to diminish in the Amerícas, as both China and Russia take on preferred status.
Cateriano also emphatically rejected reports saying that the government had acquired, in a secret pact, more than 100 tanks and other armored vehicles from Russia.
The defense minister said that the purchase of the helicopters was made “in the public domain” and that Congress had been informed, adding that the same procedure would have been followed in the case of the armored vehicles.
Cateriano also said that the first eight Russian helicopters will arrive in 2014 and will be assigned to the fight against terrorist remnants and drug trafficking in an extensive jungle area in central and southern Perú.