India Raises With Russia Move to Supply Mi-35 Choppers to Pakistan
By PTI | Published: 18th June 2014 09:54 PM |
NEW DELHI: India on Wednesday voiced concern with Russia over its move to supply Mi-35 military helicopters to Pakistan during talks between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry O Rogozin.
Russia has long been the largest supplier of arms to India.
"The question regarding our defence cooperation and any issues that impact this in terms of our concern were raised," Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said when asked whether the issue was raised in the meeting.
Both Swaraj and Rogozin discussed defence cooperation between the two countries. Approximately 60 per cent of Indian defence imports are from Russia.
Russian Ambassador to Pakistan Alexey Dedov last week announced that Russia was willing to supply MI-35 to Pakistan to assist the country in fighting terrorism.
"Pakistan has expressed its interest in buying MI-35 helicopters and we have shown our willingness to provide them," he had said in Islamabad.
Pakistan's request for MI-35 helicopters, which is intended for combat missions on day-and-night basis in adverse weather conditions, was made in 2009, but Russia delayed the issue due to its traditional strong ties with India.
Issues relating to defence were later discussed in detail during Rogozin's meeting with Defence Minister Arun Jaitley.