As Prabowo visits Russia again, little headway on Sukhoi

first_imgDefense analysts said Prabowo’s latest visit to Moscow is the culmination of a two-year campaign from the Indonesian Defense Ministry to offer a strategic partnership in the defense industry between the two countries, an overture that has been welcomed by the Russian government, which gradually opened itself to such an idea with the 2019 Military Technical Cooperation (MTC) meeting.Analyst Curie Maharani Savitri of BINUS University said Prabowo’s latest visit marked the changing nature of the two countries’ defense partnership, which dated back to 2003.“Indonesia has been invested in bilateral relations with Russia since the days of president Megawati Soekarnoputri in 2003,” Curie said. “The [relationship is] evolving, from the initial role of Indonesia as a buyer of [Russia’s] primary weapons system; now Russia has opened itself to the prospect of [defense] industry cooperation [with Indonesia].”Russia’s pivot in the defense partnership with Indonesia was part of a bigger plan to improve its ties with countries in the Southeast Asia region, which have been seen so far only as consumers of its primary weapons system, Curie said. In a statement released following his January meeting with Prabowo, Defense Minister Shoygu considered Indonesia a key partner in the region.“We consider Indonesia as one of the most important partners of Russia in the Asia-Pacific region. Cooperation with Indonesia is traditionally based on friendship and mutual trust. We note that there are prerequisites for bringing bilateral ties to the level of a strategic partnership,” Shoygu said in a statement released by the Russian Defense Ministry. In the statement, Shoygu expressed hope that a declaration on the strategic partnership could be signed between the two countries this year. Despite the warming of the ties, questions remain over progress in the US$1.14 billion deal signed in 2018 for Indonesia’s purchase of 11 Sukhoi Su-35 jet fighters from Russia as part of the former’s defense sector modernization.A number of factors, including budget refocusing to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic as well as uncertainty over the United States’ reaction to such a purchase, are possible stumbling blocks in finalizing the Sukhoi deal.The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), passed in the US in 2017, stipulates economic punishments for its partners that conduct business with Russia.“There is not yet any clarity on whether Indonesia will get a [CAATSA] waiver, whether Defense Minister [Prabowo] has lobbied [the US] or will wait until after the upcoming US election,” Curie said.The idea of a CAATSA waiver has been floated since 2018, when then-US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said such a provision would allow US partners to have a closer partnership with the superpower and help them transition away from their dependency on Russia in terms of military weapons procurement.Defense analyst Dewi Fortuna Anwar of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), meanwhile, said Prabowo’s recent visit to Moscow highlighted Indonesia’s aim to diversify its sources of weaponry to reduce its dependency on a single manufacturer.Dewi said Indonesia paid a heavy price when the US imposed an arms embargo on Indonesia in 1999.“Following the military embargo from the US after the post-referendum violence in East Timor, the government’s new commitment was to diversify its [sources] of primary weaponry system procurement,” said Dewi.Defense Ministry spokesman Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak, meanwhile, said Prabowo had been invited by his Russian counterpart to discuss defense ties between the two countries.“In the meeting, Defense Minister [Prabowo] and the Russian defense minister touched on issues of defense partnership, particularly military education, joint training and the development of defense industry cooperation,” Dahnil told The Jakarta Post late last week.During his visit, Prabowo also joined the Victory Day parade commemorating the Soviet Union’s triumph in the Second World War. He also met with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe while attending the parade, with pictures of the two men uploaded to the Defense Ministry’s Twitter handle @Kemhan_RI on June 24.Topics : Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto’s recent visit to Russia to attend the Victory Day military parade highlighted the depth of cooperation in the defense sector between the two countries despite the absence of progress in Indonesia’s plan to procure Russian Sukhoi jet fighters, defense analysts have said.Last week, Prabowo jetted off to Moscow to join the celebration of the 75th anniversary of Victory Day, during which he also held talks with Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin.Prabowo’s latest visit to Moscow was the second in less than six months, after a trip on Jan. 28, when he met with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu.last_img read more

Villas-Boas: I won’t quit

first_imgAndre Villas-Boas has pledged not to resign as Tottenham manager despite overseeing Spurs’ heaviest-ever home league defeat to Liverpool. Press Association The Portuguese has no scheduled meeting with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, but claimed there is no problem with Spurs’ board. Liverpool captain Luis Suarez ran wild at White Hart Lane, scoring twice and having a hand in the goals for Jordan Henderson, John Flanagan and Raheem Sterling. Villas-Boas vowed Tottenham would bounce back from this latest heavy defeat, after claiming they had managed to get over their 6-0 mauling at Manchester City last month. And the Portuguese refused to give up on a top-four Premier League finish. Asked how much time he would be given at Spurs, Villas-Boas said: “That’s the only thing I can’t control, it’s not my call so I can’t say anything else. “I have to get down to work, that’s the only thing I can focus on. “The call to make that decision is not mine, because obviously I won’t resign and I’m not a quitter. “The only thing I can do is work hard with the players to get them back on track. “This is a top-four squad but in our Premier League form we are not there. “It’s not the points tally that’s the problem, it’s the expression of the results. “It’s the second expressive scoreline that we’ve suffered in the season, and we admit that in the Premier League things aren’t going in any shape or form the way we want. “All of us had high expectations for this season, we still have them. “Again I repeat that we are not far off, but the distance is increasing for those Champions League spots. “And because of the expressive result it makes it even more difficult for us to bounce back.” Villas-Boas’ rocky ride at White Hart Lane was not helped by a tweet from Benoit Assou-Ekotto, seeming to make light of the defeat with team-mate Emanuel Adebayor, who were both at the ground for the match. Villas-Boas offered no argument with defeat, but felt Paulinho’s second-half red card allowed Liverpool to pile on the goals, and the misery. Confirming he would try to appeal that red card, Villas-Boas labelled the decision “an extremely poor call”. He said: “I think it was a bit harsh because I don’t think there was intention to hurt Suarez. “His foot was high, definitely a yellow card, but a straight red I think is a bit too much, because Paulinho is not that type of player. “I think it was an extremely poor call that has an influence, not on the victory of Liverpool but on the expressive result. “I will try (to appeal the red card), hopefully there can be some sensitivity into it.” Liverpool manager Rodgers heaped praised on striker Luis Suarez, hinting that captaincy can bring the best out of the prolific Uruguay forward. Suarez’s brace took his Premier League goals tally to 17 for the season, but Rodgers was most concerned with his leadership skills. Rodgers said: “This is a guy who has captained one of the most iconic clubs in European football in Ajax, so it’s nothing new to him. “I wanted to have someone who could represent me and the club in that tunnel, before even stepping on the pitch. “When Luis Suarez has the armband on ready to go out, everyone knows this is a team ready to fight. “He was great in the changing room, I told him a few days back I wanted him to lead this club and that it was an honour for him. “I think he enjoyed it and you’ve seen his performance level.” Hailing his side’s dominance in every area, Rodgers said: “I loved their arrogance with the ball. “They were a real threat with the ball all day. “In winning teams everyone supports each other, and this was a result achieved without our captain Steven Gerrard. “When we have that focus and concentration we’re a very good side.” The under-fire Tottenham boss did, however, admit he did not know how much longer the club would give him to turn their season around. Villas Boas said he has never faced a worse home loss in his career than the 5-0 Barclays Premier League drubbing at the hands of Brendan Rodgers’ rampant Reds. last_img read more