Nepal May Route Payment For Russian Mi-17 Helicopters Via China Or India

Nepal is keen to buy Russian Mi-17 Helicopters but cannot pay in US dollars due to the US and sanctions against Moscow.

Nepal is working with Russia on payment options for an unspecified number Mi-17 V-5 helicopters, as dollar transactions have been made difficult by US sanctions against Russia, Nepal’s Ambassador to Russia Rishi Ram Ghimire told Russian agency, Sputnik news.

Russia has switched over to payments in national currencies with countries such as India, China and Indonesia as sanctioned Russian entities cannot use the SWIFT international payments system.

“There is a problem of payment because of sanctions imposed by the US and European countries, so there is [an issue of] how to send that money to Russia”, the ambassador said. “The officials of the Russian Embassy in Kathmandu and the Foreign Ministry officials of Nepal, they met, and they are discussing the issue”, he noted.

The payment in dollars could be made through China or India, the diplomat added.

“We don’t transact in rubles, and Russia also did not recognize our money”, Ghimire said, when asked if the payment could be made in national currencies.

As a mountainous country, Nepal is interested in helicopters as means of transportation, he said.

Nepal’s Defense Minister Ishwar Pokhrel will be in Moscow from 21-23 April for a security conference and the issue of payments for the helicopter could be discussed with Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

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