Putin views Pakistan as ‘key partner in South Asia’

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has received a special message from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who views Islamabad as Moscows key partner in South Asia and the Islamic world, reiterating his countrys keen interest in deepening bilateral relationship as well as increasing trade and investment between the two sides.

The message was delivered by the visiting Russian Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov, who called on the Prime Minister in Lahore, The Express Tribune reported.

Shulginov is leading a Russian delegation for the 8th Round of Pakistan-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission meeting scheduled to be held in Islamabad on Friday.

During the meeting, both the sides discussed the purchase of petroleum products from Russia on discounted rates, besides mulling over the supply of oil and gas from Russia to Pakistan on a long-term basis as well as reviewing the gas pipeline project, The Express Tribune reported.

Through the special message, the Russian Minister conveyed that President Putin referred to “Pakistan as Russia’s important partner in South Asia and the Islamic World (and) reiterated Russia’s strong interest to deepen the bilateral relationship”.

Welcoming the delegation, Sharif highlighted the importance Pakistan attached to its relations with Russia.

The Prime Minister recalled his meeting with Putin in Samarkand in September last year and said that the meeting had reached important decisions to further strengthen Pakistan-Russia relations, The Express Tribune reported.

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