Jose Tavares, Indonesia’s Ambassador to Russia, recently communicated to the United Aviation Corporation (UAC) that Indonesia’s interest in acquiring Russian Su-35 fighter jets remains steadfast. He clarified to TASS reporters that while the 2018 contract for 11 fighter jets between the two nations is presently on hold, it has not been officially terminated. Tavares hinted at the possibility of future engagements under more favorable circumstances.

He emphasized that Indonesia has merely postponed the contract to sidestep potential issues, leaving open the option to revisit discussions when conditions improve. Notably, according to a report by on April 5, the agreement between Russia and Indonesia technically remains valid, signaling Indonesia’s ongoing interest in acquiring the Su-35 fighter jets.

However, complications arose when Indonesia canceled the deal with Russia in 2020 due to political factors, as suggested by Nikkei Asia. While diplomatic explanations were provided in the media, the underlying reality is that the threat of sanctions from Washington under the CAATSA law influenced Indonesia’s decision, prompting them to explore alternative options.

In a strategic maneuver, Indonesia opted for the Rafale over the Su-35, signaling its intention to avoid worsening Russia’s challenges. This deviation from previous considerations, such as new or used F-16s, underscores Jakarta’s preference for the French Rafale fighter jet, a stance maintained over the past three years.

This decision is perceived as the least likely to antagonize Moscow and carries significant weight as Indonesia currently grapples with outdated Russian Su-27s, which it cannot replace due to ongoing economic sanctions against Russia.