While India has expressed concern over Russia’s plans to sell weapons to Pakistan, Moscow on Thursday said the Mi-35 combat helicopters will be used to fight drug trafficking.
“We are currently holding consultations. We are talking about Mi-35 helicopters, we plan to supply them at the request of the Pakistani anti-drug trafficking agency,” head of the Russian delegation at the international defense and security exhibition Eurosatory 2014 Igor Sevastyanov said.
The statement comes a week after Russia lifted an embargo on weapons deliveries to Pakistan and is currently negotiating the sale of Mi-35 helicopters to Islamabad.
The potential sale to Pakistan could create tension between India and Russia, who is also New Delhi's largest arms supplier.
In 2012, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees the defense industry, seemingly took offense to Indian journalists asking him whether Moscow could supply Pakistan with weapons in future, according to the Voice of Russia.
Meanwhile, Rostec stated that India has always been and still is Russia’s strategic partner in military cooperation in the region, “however expanding our activities to other counties in South and Southeast Asia has always been on the agenda and Pakistan is no exception.”
Russia has previously exported MI-35 attack helicopters, the export version of the MI-24, including to Iraq. The two countries signed a package deal on military technical cooperation in 2012, worth $4.3 billion, the report added.