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Russia blocks deliveries of Chinese fighters to Pakistan - paper

RIA Novosti

13/08/2007 14:53 NEW DELHI, August 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is not allowing China to re-export its RD-93 engines for Chinese-made fighters to Pakistan, an Indian newspaper said Monday on its website.

Beijing concluded a contract with Moscow in 1992 for supplies of a 100 RD-93 engines with options for another 400 to equip its JF-17 Thunder fighters, jointly developed with Pakistan.

Pakistan has announced that it could procure 150-300 aircraft to meet the tactical and strategic needs of its Air Force, but India, concerned over Islamabad's growing military potential, has asked Russia, its close ally, to "freeze" the deal, the Indian Express daily said.

Russia, whose military cooperation with India has been bogged down by a number of sensitive issues, such as a delay in the overhaul of the Gorshkov aircraft carrier and a price escalation with the Su-30 MKI contract, informed China last year that re-exporting RD-93 engines was not allowed without Moscow's permission.

However, Beijing went ahead and delivered two RD-93 equipped JF-17 fighters to Pakistan in March 2007 prompting India to protest the deal as a violation of the end-user agreement between Russia and China.

The Indian Express said the two fighters had since been returned to China following Russian pressure, and Moscow would officially inform India of its decision to prohibit Beijing from re-exporting RD-93 engines during high-level defense talks in late August, when India's National Security Advisor M K Narayanan arrives in Russia for a visit.

Pakistan is supposed to start its own serial production of JF-17 fighters in 2008.

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