Pakistan and Russia to expand economic and defense cooperation

Pakistan keen to build multi-dimensional relations with Russia: FM Qureshi

Pakistan and Russia agreed to improve cooperation in the field of economy, trade, energy and defense during the crucial meeting of the officials in Islamabad on April 7.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that “Building multi-dimensional relations with Russia is a key priority for Pakistan” as the strong relationship would contribute to regional stability and global security.

Defense ties

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced during the press conference that Russia stands ready to provide Pakistan with special military equipment” and to expand cooperation in the domain of counter-terrorism.

The two sides discussed a wide range of issues including Afghanistan as well as the Asia Pacific situation and growing American activity in the region. Middle East situation and Palestine issue also came under discussion.

Trade

Last year, Pakistan and Russia’s bilateral trade increased by 46% and reached $790 million. However, the two countries agreed to expand collaboration and diversify trade ties. The construction of the North-South gas pipeline will improve energy ties and open new avenues of partnership.

Vaccines

On the vaccine delivery and collaboration, the Russian foreign minister said that “Russia has provided 50,000 doses to Pakistanis and will provide an additional 150,000 doses soon”.

While Russia realizes the vaccine demand in Pakistan but the countyry is bound by limited production capacity and previous contractual obligations with other countries.

Pakistan’s foreign minister expressed interest in the local production of the Sputnik V vaccine, which is being privately administered in Pakistan.

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