Rus­sia-Pak­istan Ties To Re­main ‘Quite Limited’

All re­ports that Rus­sia could also sell Su-35 fight­ers to Pak are false: Rus­sian of­fi­cial

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: 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-ter­ror­is­m­di­a­logue­be­tweenIn­dia 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 isun­like­ly­toa­greeo­nany­thing­more than a trans­fer of a limited num­ber of fighter and trans­port he­li­copters in fu­ture,” a Rus­sian gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial told ET on con­di­tion of anonymity.

Rus s i a ’ s c o o p e r a t i o n wi t h 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 ini­tia­tive­to­com­bat­in­ter­na­tion­al­ter­ror.

Rus­si­a­has“de­lib­er­ately”lim­ite­d­its 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-Chi­naPak­istan 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.

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