PARIS, June 18 (RIA Novosti) – Russia plans to supply Pakistan with Mi-35 combat helicopters to fight drug trafficking, head of the Russian delegation at the international defense and security exhibition Eurosatory 2014 Igor Sevastyanov said Wednesday.
“We are currently holding consultations. We are talking about Mi-35 helicopters, we plan to supply them at the request of the Pakistani anti-drug trafficking agency,” Sevastyanov said.
Head of Russia’s Rostec Corporation, a high-tech industrial producer and exporter, Sergei Chemezov earlier stated that supplies of military equipment to Pakistan are to resume, including Mi-35 helicopters. At the same time, a source in Pakistan’s foreign ministry told RIA Novosti that Russia never fully adhered to the embargo on military deliveries to Pakistan.
Indian mass media reported the Indian government felt some concern about Russia’s plans to sell military equipment to its long-time regional rival and will watch the next steps very closely.
At the same time Rostec stated that India has always been and still is Russia’s strategic partner in military cooperation in the region, “however expanding our activities to other counties in South and Southeast Asia has always been on the agenda and Pakistan is no exception.”
Russia has previously exported MI-35 attack helicopters, the export version of the MI-24, including to Iraq. The two countries signed a package deal on military technical cooperation in 2012, worth $4.3 billion.