KCFR webinar on Russia-Pakistan relations over the years, future aspirations

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A webinar on Russia-Pakistan Relations was moderated by Senior Vice Chairman KCFR; Ambassador Dr. Mustafa Kamal Kazi on February 9, 2021. Ambassador of Russian Federation to Pakistan, H.E. Danila Ganich addressed the participants as the plenary speaker at the webinar which was organized in dedication to Russian Diplomats Day.

Ambassador Mustafa Kamal Kazi in his introductory remarks stated that the global and regional transformation towards a multilateral order facilitates closer cooperation between Russia and Pakistan for greater good of the region. He stated that multilateralism; and not unilateralism, is the solution for complex global issues.

Ambassador Kazi stressed on the importance of SCO as a platform for regional cooperation and integration, and highlighted BRI and CPEC as components of a new global growth engine that will bring Asia, Europe and Africa closer. He added that relations between Russia and Pakistan have moved into a new era and would continue to grow stronger; boosting regional cooperation, progress, prosperity and stability in the region.

H.E. Danila Ganich expressed confidence towards positive bilateral relations between Pakistan and Russia on basis of the consensus that has developed between both countries. He highlighted that two countries have common interests including stability of region and peace in Afghanistan, on which they can cooperate. Ambassador Danila Ganich voiced his concern about US sanctions on Iran and misjudgment by the US of Russia as only a ‘marginal’ player in the Indo-Pacific region.

He expressed hopes for new opportunities and avenues for cooperation between Russia and Pakistan that CPEC will bring. He identified development in both countries as a means to become independent and to be able to better deal with US sanctions that impede cooperation and development. He expressed gratitude to the organizers for the invitation to address the webinar. KCFR Chairman Mr. Ikram Sehgal, in his concluding note, pointed out that CPEC is essentially a North-East, South-West corridor, and real corridor is from Russia and Central Asia down to Arabian Gulf, which connects us to Eurasia.

He stated that Pakistan is a geographical pivot and must take advantage of its geo-strategic position while remaining neutral to avoid repeating mistakes of past. In end, he conveyed gratitude to the Russian Ambassador and expressed hope for continued engagement between both countries.—PR