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Ecuador Might Have Provided the Mi-17 For Ukraine, Although This Country Denies Everything

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Ecuador Air Force Mi-17 helicopter, April 2015 / Credits: Aviación Guayaquil
Ecuador Air Force Mi-17 helicopter, April 2015 / Credits: Aviación Guayaquil

However, russia is already threatening Ecuador with sanctions

Referring to the leaked documents from the Pentagon as part of the WhisperGate scandal, Infodefensa reports that the government of Ecuador at least intended to transfer to Ukraine all its existing Mi-17-1B and Mi-171Sh helicopters received from russia in the early 2010s . And if this information is confirmed, then the Kremlin has already decided to sever economic ties with Ecuador.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador officially denies everything, saying that there are no clauses in their national legislation that would allow the transfer of military equipment to third countries. But on the other hand, although Ecuador has traditionally had good relations with russia, the president Guillermo Lasso immediately in February 2022 condemned the Kremlin's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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The Mass Media Write That Ecuador Might Have Provided the Mi-17 For Ukraine, Although This Country Denies Everything, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The Mi-17 helicopter of the Air Force of Ecuador / Credits: Axel J.

Although Infodefensa states that Ecuador has 11 units of the Mi-17-1B and Mi-171Sh, the data of The Military Balance 2022 speak of only 8 helicopters, of which six are Mi-17-1B and two Mi-171Sh. Overall, Ecuador is not a major operator of Soviet or russian-made weapons: the Ecuadorian land forces have only 18 BM-21 Grad MLRS, 128 units of the ZPU-1 and an unspecified number of the Igla MANPADS. All other equipment is of Western production.

The Mass Media Write That Ecuador Might Have Provided the Mi-17 For Ukraine, Although This Country Denies Everything, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The Mi-17 helicopter of the Air Force of Ecuador / Credits: Axel J.

The largest and most important trade item between Ecuador and russia is generally bananas. Until 2022, russia bought at least $1 billion worth of Ecuadorian bananas every year, and for Ecuador itself, in terms of banana exports, the russian market was the second largest after the EU market.

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