Poland to offer France other projects after ditching helicopters

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland will offer France alternative investment projects after cancelling a multi-billion-dollar military helicopter deal with Airbus, PAP news agency quoted Polish Prime Minister as saying late on Wednesday.

Poland had agreed to buy 50 Airbus utility helicopters in April 2015 for 13.5 billion zlotys ($3.5 billion) as part of efforts to modernize its military forces at a time of tensions with neighbor Russia.

The country’s previous, centrist government, which was beaten by the Law and Justice (PiS) party in elections last October, had agreed the provisional deal.

But on Oct. 4 the new administration said it was scrapping the contract altogether, straining relations between the two European Union member countries.

“The Polish government has acted in accordance with the interests of the Polish state. This is a normal business behavior, nobody has been betrayed,” PAP quoted Szydlo as telling private broadcaster Telewizja Trwam.

She said that the French foreign minister will be presented with “cooperation proposals, when it comes to investment of another type, or a purchase of other equipment” when they make a visit to Warsaw, which is planned for the near future.

Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; Editing by Alexander Smith