Monday, June 17, 2024

Russia seeks expansion in ties with Pakistan

Russia has sought to expand and deepen cooperation with Pakistan as the first shipment carrying Russian oil reached Karachi Port over the weekend, the media reported.

On the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Moscow and Islamabad, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov issued a video statement expressing his country’s desire to expand cooperation with the South Asian nation, The Express Tribune reported.

Pakistan and Russia have remained bitter cold-war rivals but their bilateral ties have taken a positive turn in recent years with both sides willing to bury the past and adjust to the new realities.

The two countries have been making efforts to translate their years of quiet diplomacy into tangible outcomes.

In April, the two countries signed a landmark deal that allowed Pakistan to receive the first Russian oil shipment at the weekend, The Express Tribune reported.

The first shipment is part of the pilot project to assess if Russian oil can be beneficial for Pakistan. It is reported that the first shipment was imported at a discounted rate.

“We know about the great interest and respect that the Pakistani people have towards Russia and President Vladimir Putin. We appreciate it very much,” Lavrov said in a statement.

He said that there had been different periods in bilateral relations over the past three-quarters of a century.

However, he added, Russia had always been interested in expanding cooperation with Pakistan, and under no circumstances has abandoned its commitments, The Express Tribune reported.

“The participation of Soviet specialists in the construction of the largest steel mill in Karachi (now called Pakistan Steel Mills) in the 1980s, despite the conflict raging in Afghanistan at the time, is clear evidence of this. The Guddu Thermal Power Plant, then the largest in your country, was also commissioned at that time,” Lavrov added.

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