Ruling out any change in its policy, Russia on Wednesday said it is in talks with Pakistan for supply of Mi 35 defence helicopters but said it would do nothing “detrimental” to the strategic relationship with India.
Moscow’s Ambassador here Alexander M Kadakin said that Russia had never imposed any arms embargo on Pakistan and that its technical and military cooperation with the country dates back to 1960s.
“We have not changed any policy, and contrary to press reports there has not been any embargo on Pakistan. We supplied to arms in Pakistan since early 1960s. This was sheer case of mis-reporting and over-reacting,” he said.
He was reacting to reports from Moscow that Russia has lifted an arms embargo on Pakistan and the two countries were in talks over supply of Mi35 helicopters.
Russia has not supplied any arms to Pakistan but there have only been “initial” talks to supply Mi 35 helicopters, he said.
“We have not supplied, lately, any arms to Pakistan. Its not the arms, but its Mi 17 civilian aircraft. We are at the very initial stage of talks on Mi 35, but that is exclusively for anti-terrorist and anti-narcotics operation.
“There can be a wish list from Pakistan, but we have not reacted to that. It is a matter of egotiations,” Kadakin said.
The envoy said that Russia saw supplying Mi35 helicopters as its contribution to the anti-terrorist and anti-narcotics endeavour.
“Russia, as a member of international coalition, treats is as a contribution to Pakistan’s participation in anti-drugs and anti- terrorist operation.”
He added that Russia was with India in its fight against terror and shall do nothing that will prove detrimental to the “deep and strategic” relationship with India.
“We shall never do anything, and it has been stated time and again by the highest level, which is detrimental to deep and strategic relationship with India. With India, we are its side of anti-terror campaign.
“Since there are no supplies (of arms) then how can they affect anything? One should understand that it is not that somebody is supplying to Pakistan. Nothing was done, nothing is being done and nothing will be done that will be detrimental to the deep relationship with Pakistan,” the ambassador said.