The State Department in the last year quietly launched a program that offered Eastern European countries cash to buy American-made weapons if they gave up Russian-made arms, an initiative the agency is considering expanding as officials feel confident about its worth, Defense News reports.
The European Recapitalization Incentive Program has granted about $190 million in six countries since it started about a year ago, including $30 million to Albania for helicopters, $30.6 million to Bosnia for helicopters, $25 million to Croatia for infantry fighting vehicles, $30 million to Macedonia for infantry fighting vehicles, and $50 million to Slovakia for helicopters.
“The goal is to help our partners break away from the Russian supply chain [and] logistics chain that allows Russian contractors and service personnel and Russian-manufactured spare parts onto either NATO allied bases or partner military bases,” a State Department official said this week, per Defense One.
ERIP’s purpose is twofold: It helps six nations get off Russian equipment and should increase the sale of U.S. weapon systems abroad.
The department expects to make a decision on expansion in June or July, per Defense News.
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