Moscow: President Vladimir Putin has cleared the re-export of Russian jet engines to Pakistan by China for equipping the jointly developed fighters with the South Asian nation as Moscow sees no threat to the security of its long-standing ally India.
According to Kommersant daily, Putin has recently signed a waiver to lift the ban on re-export under end-user licence agreement (EULA), part of the original deal for the sale of RD-93 jet engines to China for powering JF-17 fighters also known as FC-1 (Fighter China).
Islamabad had partially financed the JF-17 project and is to get 150 fighters from Beijing. However, India’s strong objections to Russian engines going to Pakistan via China had put the Sino-Pak deal in jeopardy.
According to the Kremlin, the Russian jet engines, an improved version of MiG-29 fighter engines, are not detrimental to India’s security as New Delhi already has next “FourPlus” generation Russian air superiority fighters (Su-30MKI) in its arsenal, while JF-17 fighters are already outdated war machines of third generation.
Experts see no ground for the Indian objections to Russian jet engines going to Pakistan as part of the Chinese planes as it has no problems in dealing with France, which supplies military hardware to both New Delhi and Islamabad.