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Indonesia to Buy Russian Fighter Jets


FILE: Sukhoi Su-27 jet fighters of the Russkiye Vityazi (Russian Knights) aerobatic team fly in formation during the International Army Games 2016, in Dubrovichi outside Ryazan, Russia, Aug. 5, 2016.

Indonesia will buy 11 Sukhoi fighter jets worth $1.14 billion from Russia in exchange for cash and Indonesian commodities, two Cabinet ministers said Tuesday.

The Southeast Asian country has pledged to ship up to $570 million worth of commodities in addition to cash to pay for the Sukhoi SU-35 fighter jets, which are expected to be delivered in stages starting in two years.

Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said in a joint statement with Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu that details of the type and volume of commodities were “still being negotiated.” Previously he had said the exports could include palm oil, tea and coffee.

The deal is expected to be finalized soon between Indonesian state trading company PT Perusahaan Perdangangan Indonesia and Russian state conglomerate Rostec.

Russia is currently facing a new round of U.S.-imposed trade sanctions.

Meanwhile, Southeast Asia’s largest economy is trying to promote its palm oil products amid threats of a cut in consumption by European Union countries. Indonesia is also trying to modernize its aging air force after a string of military aviation accidents.

Indonesia, which had a $411 million trade surplus with Russia in 2016, wants to expand bilateral cooperation in tourism, education, energy, technology and aviation among others.

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