WARSAW --- The position of Poland’s Defence Ministry has been presented by its spokesperson in the following communique concerning today’s statement by the French Defence Minister.
“Minister of Defence Jean-Yves Le Drian was repeatedly informed that the signing of the contract for the purchase of Airbus Helicopters was the signing of an agreement relating to the offset with the Republic of Poland,” said Government spokesman Rafał Bochenek to PAP (Polish Press Agency).
He referred to the words of the head of the French Minister of Defence, who among others points, criticized the decision of the Polish authorities for ending the talks concerning the supply of Caracal helicopters.
“We regretfully accepted the position of the French Minister of Defence Jean-Yves Le Drian, who was repeatedly informed, that the contractual condition for the purchase of Airbus helicopters was the signing of the offset agreement for the benefit of the Republic of Poland. This results directly from Polish legislation, which the French side was well aware of and repeatedly reminded by Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz,” stressed the Government spokesman in an interview with PAP.
As he pointed out, “The French side knows that the offset negotiation from beginning to end was being carried out by the Ministry of Economic Development, and not the Ministry of National Defence, and their ending was due to the failure by Airbus Helicopters to provide a satisfactory offset proposal for the Republic of Poland.”
Mr. Bochenek stressed that this is reason why the Ministry of Economic Development, after more than a year-long negotiation period, was forced to end the talks.
“It is not true that Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz due to the failure of these talks turned with a new offer to non-European enterprises. In the new proceedings as of 18 October, the companies participating include: the Polish company PZL Świdnik, PZL Mielec—a Polish registered company, and Airbus Helicopters, which is registered in France," the Government spokesman told PAP.
Further, he added, “The Ministry of National Defence has shown a level of maximum goodwill in this whole matter and continues in trying to take into account the legitimate interests of all the partners."