Comments by the Russian Ambassador, Alexander Kadakin, to Indian journalists on arms supplies to Pakistan, New Delhi, June 4, 2014.
Times Now: Ambassador Kadakin, we have heard that Russians have changed their policies and have started exporting their arms to Pakistan. Why is that?
A.M.Kadakin: First of all we have not changed any policies. Contrary to some mass media reports, there has never been any embargo on arms to Pakistan. There is nothing to remove. We supplied arms to Pakistan in early 1960s. On the whole it is a case of sheer misreporting and overreacting.
We have not supplied lately any arms to Pakistan – only Mi-17 civilian helicopters, that is all. Indeed we are at an initial stage of talks on Mi-35, but that is exclusively for antiterrorist and anti-narcotics operations. Russia is a member of the international anti-terror and anti-drugs coalition and sees this as its contribution to Pakistan’s participation in that combat.
Times Now: You have seen the Pakistan intelligence agencies or a section of Pakistan’s establishment having very strong links with the Taliban. Mr Hamid Karzai very recently told Times Now that Mullah Omar is in Peshawar or Quetta. Can you tell us how this affects Russian-Indian ties to an extend it affects security policies all over the world?
A.M.Kadakin: It was stated time and again by our leaders at the highest level that we shall do nothing to the detriment of the deep strategic partnership we have with India. With India we are on one side of anti-terror campaign. Since there are no supplies, how can they affect anything? Nothing was done, nothing is done and nothing will be done to harm our profound cohesion with India or change the strategic balance in the area.
Yes, talks are there. There might be a wish list by the Pakistani side of what they want but we have not yet reacted. It has to be a matter of negotiations.
Times Now: Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin’s visit is coming up very shortly and you have a new government to deal with. How do you see a forward movement?
A.M.Kadakin: We have very bright prospects to further deepen, enlarge, intensify and energize our strategic partnership with the Government of India. We have very far-reaching plans in many spheres like nuclear energy, for example. We have a Roadmap for 14 to 16 nuclear units and we have grand plans in our defence cooperation, for example, the fifth generation aircraft.
Mr Rogozin is coming as a special messenger of President Putin. Besides he is responsible for India as the co-chair of our intergovernmental commission. We are absolutely sure that his talks with Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Mrs Sushma Swaraj, and other ministers will be productive. We have had good cohesion and cooperation with your new Prime Minister while he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. We never introduced any blacklists. He made three successful visits to Russia. Gujarat is very actively cooperating with the region of Astrakhan in Russia. On that level we do not see any problems. We are sure that with his energetic and focussed attitude to cooperation projects they will no doubt move ahead and succeed.
Times Now: You spoke about cooperation in the defence sector. Are the Russians keen to lease another Akula-type submarine to the Indian army forces?
A.M.Kadakin: Before I reply we have to receive the official request from the Indian side. There was just general talk about India’s interest.
PTI: You were talking about cooperation in the nuclear energy. Will you extend the same thing to Pakistan in the nuclear civil sphere?
A.M.Kadakin: I never thought about that. We do have a great number of orders in the portfolio from other countries. Our nuclear energy industry is working at full throttle to meet the requirements of our own power production inside the country.
We are sharing all that we can with India in the nuclear field. As you know, KNPP unit 1 is working successfully, having reached 100% capacity. Unit 2 is almost ready and will be commissioned soon. And then, we have signed the technical agreement for Nos 3 and 4. We shall of course proceed with 5, and 6, and 7, and 8… India has exclusive priority on the list of countries requesting for Russian cooperation in this field. We have the nuclear energy roadmap which has to be carried out and according to which we have to construct 14 to 16 units. That is the situation.