INTERNATIONAL

Russia lifts arms embargo on Pakistan

Russia has lifted its embargo on arms supplies to Pakistan and is holding talks on supplying Islamabad with combat helicopters, the head of state-owned Rostec, Sergei Chemezov, said on Monday, the ITAR-TASS news agency reported. “Such a decision has been taken. We are holding talks on supplying the helicopters,” Mr. Chemezov said, adding that the negotiations were about Russian Mi-35 Hind attack helicopters.

Russia has long been the largest supplier of arms to India, which is the world’s top arms buyer. But Moscow’s move to supply Islamabad came as New Delhi is seeking to modernise its armed forces’ ageing hardware and has recently chosen to buy arms from Israel, France, Britain and the United States.

Russian commentator Pavel Felgenhauer said the lifting of the embargo, in force since the Soviet era, marked a sea change in policy, until now focused on India. — AFP