- Mar 28, 2016
Russia has clarified that its cooperation with Pakistan will remain “quite limited” and it will never sell weapons to the country that could potentially change the balance of power in the Indian subcontinent. The assurance comes after national security adviser Ajit Doval’s visit to Moscow and high-level counter-terrorism dialogue between India and Russia in Delhi last week.
“All reports arguing that Russia could also sell Su-35 fighter jets to Pakistan are false… Islamabad would want to buy these aircraft and other Russian weapons, but Moscow is unlikely to agree on anything more than a transfer of a limited number of fighter and transport helicopters in future,” a Russian government official told ET on condition of anonymity.
Russia’s cooperation with Pakistan will always remain quite limited, the official said, the recent deal between the two countries on supply of four Russian fighter helicopters to Pakistan notwithstanding.
The deal had sparked concern in India over the possibility of Pakistan acquiring more defence equipment from Russia.
When Doval visited Moscow last week, the situation in Af-Pak region was among the issues discussed threadbare. Simultaneously, Russia’s deputy foreign minister was in Delhi to hold a counter-terrorism dialogue with his counterparts in the external affairs ministry.
India and Russia decided to launch a joint counter-terror action plan and deradicalisation initiative to combat international terror. Russia has “deliberately” limited its military partnership with Pakistan since it will never risk its strategic relations with India, the Russian official cited earlier said.
The Russia-Pakistan joint military exercise in Pakistan last year had raised some eyebrows in India, as did the subsequent Russia-China-Pakistan meeting on the future of Afghanistan. Russia, however, was the first major power that supported India’s surgical strikes across the Line of Control in Pakistanoccupied Kashmir after the terrorist attack in Uri.