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Obama ‘Complicating’ Relations with Russia With F-18 Fighter Deal With Finland


Outgoing US President Barack Obama has permitted $156 million worth of F-18 combat aircraft to be sold to Finland. In an interview with Radio Sputnik, Moscow-based political scientist Dmitry Drobnitsky said that he thought that Barack Obama was trying to complicate relations with Russia.

“The impression is that Barack Obama is making every effort to sour Washington’s relations with Moscow in Europe and Syria to make life as hard as possible for the next Administration. I still believe that spoiling bilateral relations to an extent that at the end of the day they can’t be brought back to normal is a pretty hard task,” Drobnitsky said.

Commenting on the planned sale of US fighter jets to Finland, Drobnitsky said that Russia had nothing to worry about. “I don’t think that four standard warplanes will pose any serious threat to Russia. What is more important here is that someone who used to present himself as a ‘dove of peace’ is now acting like a rabid ‘hawk’” Drobnitsky said. The US State Department has approved a possible $156 million Foreign Military Sale to Finland for upgrades to extend the life of its F-18 combat aircraft, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a release. Support also includes software tests and integration center upgrades, flight testing, spare and repair parts and support and test equipment, the release added. Principal contractors include Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, BAE North America, General Electric, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and Rockwell Collins.

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