Russia pledges to promote bilateral ties with Pakistan in diverse fields

Russia pledges to promote bilateral ties with Pakistan in diverse fields

Islamabad (Web Desk): Russia has reaffirmed the commitment to promote bilateral cooperation with Pakistan in diverse fields including economy, trade and defence.

The resolve was expressed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during delegation level talks with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad on Wednesday, the Radio Pakistan reported.

Later addressing a joint news conference with Qureshi, Sergey Lavrov said that his country stands ready to further build counter terrorism potential through provision of military equipment.

“This is in the interest of all states of the region,” the Russian foreign minister said, adding that the sides have agreed to further conduct military exercises and drills.

Sergey Lavrov expressed satisfaction over forty 46 % increase in bilateral trade. He however stressed there is need to further diversify it.

Discussing the opportunities in the energy sector, the Russian foreign minister said both the countries are now discussing a new protocol on Stream Gas Pipeline Project and as soon as it is signed, the construction work on the project will be started.

Lavrov termed the relationship between the two countries mutually beneficial and constructive.

“We have provided fifty thousand doses of anti Covid vaccine to Pakistan and intend to provide one hundred and fifty thousand more,” the Russian FM said.

Voicing concern over the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, he said Pakistan and Russia have agreed to further facilitate the parties to reach an agreement to put an end to civil war through an inclusive political dialogue.

“We believe that against the backdrop of tensions in the region, we should not forget the task of establishment of the state of Palestine,” Lavrov said, adding that Russia stands ready to facilitate direct dialogue between Palestine and Israel.

In his remarks, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistan is keen to build a strong multifaceted relationship with Russia.

“There is a new approach and mindset in Pakistan for relationship with Russia. We feel that not just we have geographic proximity but Russia is a factor of stability in the region and the world at large,” FM Qureshi asserted.

He said that Pakistan wants to build a relationship of trust with Russia. He said Moscow has always advocated primacy of international law and multilateralism. These are principles that Pakistan adheres to. Our coordination and cooperation at the United Nations (UN) level has been excellent.

He reaffirmed the commitment to deepen relations with Pakistan and create win-win cooperation between the two countries.

Alluding to the discussion that took place on the entire spectrum of bilateral relations, the foreign minister said we have agreed to hold the intergovernmental commission meeting this year in Moscow, expressing the confidence it will lay the foundation for a more meaningful economic relationship between the two countries.

Regarding Stream Gas Pipeline project, the FM Qureshi said we have overcome many of the obstacles, reassuring the Russian counterpart that Pakistan wants to go ahead and committed to the project.

“Russia has also acknowledged Pakistan's successful campaign against terrorism and extremism,” FM Qureshi said.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that he also briefed the Russian counterpart about the human rights situation in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

Describing the visit of Russian foreign minister an important one, Qureshi said it is taking place after almost a decade.

“This visit will further deepen bilateral relationship and friendship and we intend to maintain this momentum and high level contacts,” FM Qureshi said.