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Photograph: vlada.gov.hr

The government on Wednesday gave its consent to the Defence Ministry to ensure funds from the state budget for costs of adding equipment and making necessary adjustments to 16 Kiowa Warrior helicopters, donated by the United States to Croatia.

The funds will be paid in instalments and will be used for making adjustments on the helicopters upon their inclusion in the Croatian Armed Forces and the ministry is expected also to pay Value Added Tax on the donation.

An estimated 96.8 million kuna (approximately 13 million euros) will be allocated for this purpose and will be paid in instalments until 2020. Thus, in 2017, instalments will be in the amount of 70 million kuna, and 20 million in 2018, while 6.6 million will be allocated in 2019 and the rest in 2020.

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic has described the decision to accept the US donation as a good one.

"This is the type of helicopter we need," she said on Wednesday explaining that the donated helicopters would help modernise the Air Force fleet and therefore she believed that this was an investment rather than spending.

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