BRUSSELS: Russia could supply helicopters for NATO-led operations in Afghanistan, an executive at the state hi-tech corporation Russian Technology said on Wednesday.

“We are prepared on commercial terms to provide the NATO coalition forces with helicopters of different types,” the company’s deputy general director, Dmitry Shugayev, told reporters.

Shugayev said the coalition forces were experiencing helicopter shortages in Afghanistan. He also said Russia could train crews for the helicopters.

In June, Russia and NATO agreed to restart cooperation on security issues, frozen after Russia fought a brief war with ex-Soviet Georgia in August 2008.

Russia’s envoy to NATO said last week the first formal Russia-NATO Council ministerial meeting since the Georgia conflict may be held in early December.

Shugayev also said that taking into account “political difficulties” in relations with the military bloc, it would be simpler for Russia to cooperate with individual NATO countries on a bilateral basis than with the alliance as a whole.

“Bilateral cooperation could demonstrate that cooperation [between Russia and NATO] is possible in principle and could be beneficial,” he said.