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Slovakia Wants Russia to Modernize Its S-300 Missiles

S-300 air defense system

NATO member Slovakia said it wants Russia to modernize its S-300 air defense systems and old Mi-17 military helicopters, news agency TASS reported Tuesday.

"I want to confirm the interest of Slovakia when it comes to the modernization of the S-300 system," Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said after meeting his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev in Gorky, Russia on Tuesday.

Though a NATO ally, Slovakia is a former member of the Warsaw Pact, which used exclusively Soviet-built military equipment. The nation is moving away from this dependency on Moscow, but still relies on certain Russian equipment.

Fico also said that Russia and Slovakia may soon hash out an agreement to modernize the nation's fleet of old Russian Mi-17 military helicopters.

Last year, Slovakia appeared to be moving away from its dependence on Russian military equipment when it agreed to buy nine U.S-made Black Hawk helicopters for $261 million to replace its Mi-17 fleet.

Fico did not specify how, or whether, modernization contracts would change its military procurement plans. 

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