Monday, 15 October 2012

Russia rules out arms sale to Pakistan

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin Sunday ruled out any arms sales to Pakistan and stressed that unlike other countries, Russia never created problems for India.

“We are always cooperating with India to ensure safety of the region. We never created trouble for India in the region as compared to other countries,” he told reporters here.

Rogozin was responding to a question on whether Russia was planning to expand military relations with Pakistan.

“That’s our political advantage as a friend of India,” he said. “If someone says otherwise, spit in his face,” he replied when asked whether Russia was planning to sell arms to Pakistan.

“We don’t do military business with your enemies. We don’t transfer any arms to them,” he said.

Early this month, Pakistan’s Army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani visited Russia, fuelling speculation about a possible arms sale by Russia to Pakistan.

There were also speculations that the Russian defence minister deferred his visit to India, earlier scheduled for Oct 4 and finally held Oct 10, to meet Pakistan’s army chief, an impression that has been since rejected by Moscow.

There were some reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin was planning to visit Pakistan this month, but cancelled the visit due to Indian sensitivities.

Rogozin and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Monday will co-chair the 18th session of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC). The talks will firm up the agenda for the annual summit talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Putin Nov 1.

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