ISLAMABAD: Russian envoy to Pakistan Alexey Dedov on Wednesday said that the MI-35 helicopter deal with Moscow and Islamabad is "politically approved", Radio Pakistan reported.

In an interview with Radio Pakistan, Dedov said that the Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu will visit Islamabad soon. The report further stated that Alexey Dedov said the deal between Pakistan and Russia will help combat terrorism.

While Dedov said the deal has been "politically approved", further negotiations on details of the political-commercial contract are in progress.

The ambassador also said that Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu has talks with Pakistani counterparts on his agenda, to discuss the sale of defence equipment to Pakistan.

Pakistan’s request for MI-35 helicopters has been on the table since 2009, but Russia had kept the issue pending because of the Indian factor.

India had long been Russia’s ‘exclusive military technical cooperation partner’. However, Moscow has reportedly downgraded that status to ‘preferred partner’ after India diversified its defence procurements and increasingly began relying on Western sources for meeting its hardware requirements. Russia has, meanwhile, reviewed its policy of selling military equipment to Pakistan.

Ambassador Dedov, however, had earlier maintained that there was no ban on selling defence equipment to Pakistan.

MI-35s are multi-purpose military transport helicopters which can be used for combat missions.

The Pakistan government has been saying that it genuinely needed these helicopters for counter-terrorism operations.

Opinion

Pariah regimes
21 Sep 2021

Pariah regimes

The world usually struggles to tame even real pariah and rogue regimes.

Editorial

What’s the game?
21 Sep 2021

What’s the game?

Such brinkmanship is being fuelled by incendiary rhetoric as well as inflexible demands of a unilateral nature.
21 Sep 2021

Gas price hike

THE proposed hike of 24pc-37pc in the gas price of the top 23pc residential consumers, who account for 43pc of the...
21 Sep 2021

Green Line buses

AT long last, the first batch of vehicles for Karachi’s Green Line bus project arrived from China on Sunday,...
20 Sep 2021

Banking for women

AS the old adage goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. How far the new State Bank initiative —...
Off the red list
Updated 20 Sep 2021

Off the red list

There are aspects of coronavirus management, especially by developed nations towards those less so, that smack of discrimination.
20 Sep 2021

Exciting frontiers

HISTORY was made on Wednesday at the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral. It was not the launch of the first, or...