Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov is here in Pakistan for a working visit from 6th to 7th April. He has planned to hold talks with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, as well as hold meetings with the country’s top political and military leadership.
Trade, Economy and Counter-terrorism
The parties plan to discuss the current state and prospects for the development of bilateral relations with an emphasis on cooperation in the trade, economic, and counter-terrorism fields, exchange views on topical issues of the international and regional agenda.
On May 1 1948, Pakistan and Russia established diplomatic relationships with one another. Today Pakistan is an important foreign policy partner of Russia. Fruitful interaction is maintained at the international organizations, primarily in the UN and its specialized agencies. The cooperation between Moscow and Islamabad is based on the coincidence or similarity of positions on most of the problems of the world community, including issues of strategic stability and countering terrorism.
Opportunities for joint work have significantly expanded after Pakistan’s accession to the SCO as a full member in June 2017.
Important meetings held between the two countries in the past
Pakistan and Russia maintain an intensive political dialogue at the high and highest of levels. President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin spoke with the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Imran Khan on the sidelines of the SCO CHS meeting in Bishkek in June 2019; Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a conversation with Pakistani Prime Minister “on the sidelines” of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2019.
Meetings of Foreign Ministers of the two countries Sergey Lavrov and Shah Mahmood Qureshi are held regularly (the previous meeting was held in September 2020 in Moscow within the framework of the SCO CFM meeting).
The top priority task at the moment is to expand trade and economic ties. In 2020, the volume of trade amounted to a record $790 million. This showed an increase of 46% by inter alia due to large supplies of Russian wheat. Specific projects of a business partnership will be discussed within the framework of the intergovernmental commission on trade, economy, scientific, and technical cooperation. The sixth meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission took place in Islamabad in December 2019.
North-South Gas Pipeline
Energy is a promising area of business partnership. The flagship project is the construction of the North-South gas pipeline from Karachi to Lahore. It is under the Intergovernmental agreement signed in 2015. Negotiations are underway with a view to an early start of its practical implementation. Other promising projects include the modernization of the Karachi Steel Mills built with the assistance of the USSR. Moreover, the reconstruction of the energy and railway systems of Pakistan, as well as the supply of Russian civil aircraft.
Finding a solution for the civil war in Afghanistan
A common concern is a situation in Afghanistan. Both countries look forward to finding a constructive solution to end the civil war in Afghanistan. They aim to achieve this through agreements on the formation of an inclusive government. Along with the participation of the Taliban movement. Russia will continue to provide the necessary assistance in advancing this process. This will include the Troika Plus mechanism of Russia, the United States, and China with the participation of Pakistan. Also the Moscow format of consultations on Afghan issues, as well as the SCO-Afghanistan contact group.