MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia is holding talks with Israel over buying Israeli unmanned reconnaissance drones, a top general said on Tuesday, in what would be Moscow's first purchase of military hardware from the Jewish state. The Russian interest in purchasing the drones comes after its military was taken by surprise by Georgia's use of Israeli-supplied drones in its war against Russia in August. "We're talking about the purchase of a test batch of Israeli reconnaissance drones," the Interfax news agency quoted the head of Russia's General Staff, General Nikolai Makarov, as saying. "If our industry is unable to produce in the near future the drones we need, then possibly we will purchase one batch, first of all for testing, from Israel," he said. Russian defence expert Ruslan Pukhov, Director of the Centre of Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, confirmed that Russia had never bought military hardware from Israel before. "Nothing has been bought on behalf of our interests from Israel before," he told AFP. "This is a rather bold decision. Both the Americans and our own industry" will not be happy about the possible deal, he said. "Israel is the most experienced maker and operator of the drones, even the United States buys from it," Pukhov said. The Kommersant daily said the head of the armed forces General Vladimir Popovkin was in Israel in late-November for talks on the purchase with Israel's defence ministry and defence contractor Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The paper quoted a Russian arms industry official as saying: "a contract for producing drones is almost certain to be given to Israel Aerospace Industries." It also quoted an Israeli Defence Ministry official as saying a decision had been taken "at the highest level but the further fate of the contract is still being discussed." Kommersant cited Israeli press reports that the value of the proposed contract would be $10-12m but said the true sum was likely to be much higher.