The Indonesian authorities have decided not to go ahead with the purchase of Russian fighter jets, reported the Indonesian newspaper Nasional Kompas with reference to the chief of staff of Indonesia's Air Force, Fadjar Prasetyo.
"With a heavy heart, we have to cancel plans to buy Su-35 fighters, because, as we initially said, the development of military power depends on budget funds," Fadjar Prasetyo said in a statement.
Indonesia signed a contract for the supply of 11 aircraft worth $1.14 billion with Russia in February 2018. However, six months later, reports appeared about problems with the implementation of the contract. Because of the American law “On Countering America's Adversaries Through Act”, both buyers and sellers could fall under the so-called "secondary sanctions" because of transactions with the Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport, which was already under US sanctions.
To circumvent the ban, the parties agreed that Indonesia will pay half of the amount for the delivery of the aircraft in barter form. Fighter jets were expected to be exchanged for batches of palm oil and rubber crumbs.
But the contract did not come to fruition even on such terms, and now Indonesia is considering buying French Rafale fighters and American Boeing F-15 EX.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), published in early December, Russian arms exports have been declining for three years in a row. Analysts attribute this to the fact that a number of new arms exporting states, in particular China and Israel, are entering the world market.