‘Lack of substance’ reason for Putin not visiting Pak, says Russian envoy

Islamabad, Mar.18 (ANI): Russia believes there are still no substantial reasons to justify President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Islamabad.

Russian Ambassador Alexey Dedov, who was delivering a lecture on Pak-Russia relations at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI), said the visit should have some substance.

“As soon as the substance is ready, we can discuss the visit,” Dawn quoted Alexey as saying.

The Russian envoy defined the substance as ‘signing of documents’ for cooperation, ‘preparation of plans’ for expanding ties and ‘declarations’.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was then hastily dispatched to Islamabad to explain the cancellation.

It was speculated that Putin could visit Pakistan for performing the groundbreaking ceremony of the project after Russia agreed to invest in the two billion dollars North-South gas pipeline project for carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Karachi to Lahore.

Putin had planned a visit to Islamabad in October 2012 for attending a quadrilateral summit between Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan, but cancelled it at the eleventh hour.

The Russian Ambassador said that the upcoming SCO meeting in Tashkent would provide a good opportunity for a meeting between Putin and Pakistan Prime Miniter Nawaz Sharif.

The two leaders last met on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Ufa in July 2015. (ANI)

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