‘Russia does not plan to sell fighter jets, weapons to Pakistan’: Report

Russia does not plan to sell fighter jets, air defence systems and tanks to Pakistan, reported The Economic Times, dismissing a recent statement by Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan on the proposed purchase.

According to the publication, the statement made by the Pakistan minister in a recent interview was more “on the lines of Pakistan foreign minister’s claim in February of Russian support at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary, which turned out to be false”.

“There has been no discussion about Russian intentions to sell such defence equipment to Pakistan,” a Russian official told the publication, who did not wish to be identified.

Last week, Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan had said that Pakistan is negotiating procurement of sophisticated military hardware, including air defence systems, fighter jets and battle tanks with Russia.

The minister confirmed that Islamabad was interested in buying weapons from Moscow in an interview to Russian news agency Sputnik on Thursday, in which he also talked about increased cooperation with Kremlin which mirrors Pakistan’s wider geo-strategic concerns.

“Air defence system is a different kind of weapon we are interested. We are very much interested in a very wide range of the Russian weapons technology. We are in negotiations [on air defence systems] and once we conclude negotiations, we will be able to announce them,” Khan said.

The defence minister also outlined that Islamabad was interested in acquiring T-90 tanks from Moscow as part of a long-term deal rather than committing itself to a single purchase.
“We are interested in tanks T-90 and it is not going to be a one-time purchase but it is going to be a long-term commitment,” Khan stated.

He added that negotiations for the purchase of Russian Su-35 fighter jets are in their early stages, and an agreement in this regard may be reached “in the next few years”, according to the Russian website.

Published here.

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