Pakistan, Russia ink landmark defence deal

Pakistan and Russia have signed a landmark defence deal including the sale of 4 advance Mi-35 ‘Hind E’ combat helicopters to Pakistan.

The agreement was signed by top defence officials from both countries in Rawalpindi as per negotiations for the deal which had taken place in 2014.

Earlier in November 2014, both countries had signed a bilateral defence cooperation agreement to strengthen military-to-military relations between them.

Mi-35 ‘Hind E’ attack helicopters

The Mi-35 helicopter is modernised version of the Mi-24 combat helicopter. It has new advanced onboard equipment and avionics. It is also incorporated with more powerful engine and a different tail rotor.

Currently, Pakistan has a number of ‘Mi-17’ combat helicopters. These combat helicopters were delivered to Pakistan by US in order to assist them to fight against growing militancy as part of its special defence package.


Zhanna Nemtsova awarded with Solidarity Prize 2015 of Poland

Russian journalist and social activist Zhanna Nemtsova was awarded with Poland’s Solidarity Prize 2015.

She was bestowed with this award for championing (promotion and protection) democracy and human rights.

Zhanna is the daughter of slain Russian statesman and liberal politician Boris Nemtsov who was assassinated by unknown assailants on February 27, 2014.

Presently, she is working for Berlin based German broadcaster Deutsche Welle in the Russian department. Earlier she has worked with Russian business news channel RBK. She had left Russia in June 2014 after her father’s assassination.

About Solidarity Prize

  • It is Polish award for promotion and protection of democracy and civil liberties.
  • Established in 2014 by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland.
  • The prize is named after former Polish President and anti-communist icon leader Lech Walesa, who had launched trade union named Solidarity trade union.
  • It was established to mark the 25th anniversary of Poland’s semi-free elections which were held in 1989. This election had signalled the end of communism across the Soviet bloc.
  • Award carries monetary prize of US 1.1 million dollars.


Russia renews bid for Arctic regions

Russia has renewed its efforts to get the United Nations (UN) recognition for 1.2 million square kilometers of the Arctic shelf region which it claims to be its sovereign territory.

In this regard, Russia has forwarded its fresh bid to UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf backed by scientific data.

However all other 4 countries bordering the Arctic viz. Norway, Denmark, Canada and the US have rejected Russia’s claim.

It should be noted that earlier in 2001, UN had rejected Russia’s similar claim over the resource rich territory on the northern tip of Earth because of insufficient evidence.

Background of Territorial dispute over Arctic

There is territorial dispute between all 5 countries bordering the Arctic over its energy rich potential which is believed to hold up to a quarter of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas.

These 5 countries claiming their own sovereignty over this region are Denmark, Canada, Norway, US and Russia. Since 2008 this issue is still pending and yet to be settled under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.