Former Moldovan President Petru Lucinschi said at the trial of former Moldovan Defense Minister Valeriu Pasat on 4 July that the United States compelled Moldova to sell its warplanes cheaply to Washington. Lucinschi dismissed thus charges that Pasat defrauded the state. Pasat is currently standing trial on charges of selling too cheaply 21 MiG-29 jet fighters to the United States in 1997.
According to Lucinschi, Moldova had received an South Korean offer of $93 million for the planes, but had to yield to Washington's bid, as "the Americans told us the planes would end up in Iran". Washington offered to buy the fighters as part of a plan to make arms stocks in the former Soviet Union safe.