Poles end talks on multibillion deal with Airbus Helicopters

Poland's government says it is breaking off talks with Airbus Helicopters on an offset deal that was linked to a broader, multi-billion-euro agreement to buy helicopters for the army.

The offset deal had been one of the conditions for Poland's purchase of 50 Caracal helicopters for 13.5 billion zlotys (3.14 billion euros), meaning that the entire deal has been shelved.

Poland's Development Ministry said late Tuesday that the negotiating position of the two sides was so different that "further talks are pointless."

The decision to buy the helicopters from Airbus was made by the previous government, led by the pro-European Civic Platform party, in an effort to modernize the military. The conservative Law and Justice party had indicated it might cancel the deal when it won elections last year.