Suleiman said the Russian authorities agreed to substitute the 10 MiG-29 fighter jets previously mulled military aid with Mi-24 advanced military helicopters "based on the request of the Lebanese side that conducted technical and functional studies on the Russian fund for the Lebanese Air Force."
The Lebanese side based the request on army command's recommendation that the vital need currently is for this type of military helicopters that can be equipped with missiles and advanced combat means.
On Thursday, Suleiman met with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow where he signed a memorandum on bilateral military cooperation. Medvedev, whose country is keen to preserve influence in the Arab world that dates back to Soviet times, described the visit as a "landmark event" in relations between Moscow and Beirut. Suleiman, who in turn labeled the visit as historic, hailed Medvedev for his support of Lebanon. He said the two sides had discussed signing a long-term military cooperation agreement. "It is a framework agreement and is planned to be signed in the near future," said the head of Russia's military-technical cooperation agency, Mikhail Dmitriyev.