Russia signs preliminary deal to sell 42 jets to India

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Visiting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday oversaw the signing of an agreement to sell to India 42 Su-30 jets in kit form as the Kremlin scrambles to retain ties with its Soviet-era arms purchaser. The agreement comes after India, the biggest importer of military hardware among emerging nations, had earlier this year rejected Moscow’s bid to supply its traditional ally with 126 multi-role combat aircraft in a deal worth about $12 billion (9.2 billion euros). The two leaders sought to play up progress in bilateral ties, stressing they withstood the test of time. “Our cooperation with India in the military technical sphere has reached an unprecedented level,” Medvedev said in comments released by the Kremlin.