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Afghan Heli Engineers Training in Russia - NATO Head

RIA Novosti

11:28 19/04/2012 BRUSSELS, April 19 (RIA Novosti) - Afghan engineers who will maintain Russian-built helicopters for the Afghan armed forces are currently starting training in the Russian city of Novosibirsk, NATO General Secretary Anders Fogh said on Thursday at the opening of the NATO-Russia Council (RNC) in Brussels.

The training program is being financed by the NRC, he said.

The NRC set up a fund in April 2011 in order to help train personnel for servicing the Afghan forces' helicopters.

Russia is delivering new Mi-17 helicopters to Afghanistan, paid for by the United States. Russia signed a $367.5 million deal in 2011 with the United States Department of Defense for 21 Mi-17V5 transport/attack helicopters. Delivery is due to be completed in July 2012.

Pilots for the Afghan helicopters have already been trained in Britain by the United Kingdom's forces.

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