Indonesia needs Russia's Sukhoi fighters to protect its national sovereignty, Indonesian Air Force Chief of Staff, Aviation Marshal Chappi Hakim told the national news agency Antara on Tuesday.
The sides had contracted for deliveries of Su-27 and Su-30 aircraft and two Mi-35 helicopters to Indonesia during the April visit to Russia of Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri.
According to Hakim, Indonesia's decision comes in response to the United States' embargo that banned spare parts from the Indonesian Air Force and its US-made aerotechnics and to the limitations London has imposed on the use of Indonesia's British-made fighters.
The chief of staff praised the combat qualities of Su fighters, saying their delivery was not linked to any political conditions. Besides, according to his words, they may be used and serviced jointly with India and China, both of whom are going to manufacture Su fighters, and with neighbouring Malaysia, who also intends to purchase some for itself.
As many as 17 foreign countries owe Russia a total of $27 billion with Belarus, Ukraine and Venezuela being the largest debtors