Seeking to allay India’s concern over Russia’s growing military ties with Pakistan, a top official and close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday said there are no talks for sale of military equipment to Pakistan and that the recently held army exercise was directed at countering terrorism and not aimed at India. Sergei Chemezov, CEO of Rostech State Corporation, an umbrella organisation of 700 hi-tech civilian and military firms, asserted that the military exercise does not show a “significant” change in his country’s relations with Pakistan.
“Our relationship with Pakistan has existed for a while. In some areas it has broadened but I will not call it as significant change,” Chemezov, who was the KGB station chief in Germany when Putin was a young operative there, told a select group of journalists. Asked about the recently held army exercise, Chemezov said it was directly connected with modern way of specialised fight against terrorists. Highlighting terrorism, he said that ISIS was not just an Arab danger but a global one.
“ISIS is a global danger and it not just involves terrorism in the Arab world but does involve terrorists in Russia, India as well as Pakistan. We feel that joint military exercise in this area are vital for world peace. These exercises are not in any way targeted at anything to do with India or any other country,” Chemezov said. Asked about the sale of Mi 35 attack helicopters to Pakistan, Chemezov said that Russia has “not delivered any modern aircraft or any military aircraft to Pakistan”.
“We have made deliveries of helicopters but those are specialised transport helicopters. Delivery has already been made. There is no contract negotiations for any military related equipment to be delivered to Pakistan,” he said. Chemezov said that Russia would be glad to cooperate with India on the issue of terrorism and would be happy to not just provide equipment and weapons but also share best practices of its special forces and increase cooperation.