Pakistan, Russia reaffirm to further strengthen ties Imran, Putin discuss ‘bilateral, regional’ issues

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Prime Minister Imran Khan held one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow and discussed matters of mutual interest as well as prevailing situation in South Asia, according to a statement issued by the Russian foreign ministry.

“Both the leaders discussed the main aspects of bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on current regional topics, including developments in South Asia,” read the brief statement.

They discussed the main aspects of bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on current regional topics, including developments in South Asia.

Two leaders reviewed the entire array of bilateral relations including economic and energy cooperation. Both the leaders reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations including energy cooperation. The Russian president also hosted a luncheon for Prime Minister Imran.

The regional situation including the unfolding Ukraine crisis also came under discussion, reported Radio Pakistan.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said President Putin “went out of the way” to welcome Premier Imran upon his arrival for meeting at Kremlin that last lasted for almost three hours.

Speaking to a local TV channel from Moscow, the federal minister said that Pakistan will pursue independent foreign policy and not become a part of any bloc.

“We [Pakistan] want to further strengthen ties with Russia… but we will maintain a balance [in relations] with West and Russia,” he said, adding, “Pakistan will not make or break ties at the whims of anyone”.

PM Imran Khan, earlier on his arrival at Kremlin – the executive headquarters of the Russian Federation, was warmly received by President Putin.

This is the first bilateral visit by a Pakistani prime minister to Russia after a gap of 23 years and is being termed as a historic step to renew relations between the two countries.

Earlier in the day, the premier laid a floral wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow as a tribute to the Russian casualties of World War II as he continued his official visit to the country.

However, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry dismissed rumours that the prime minister was cutting short his visit and said the speculations are “misplaced”.

According to the information minister, the visit is “proceeding well and the PM will return to Pakistan tonight as per schedule”.

The report said that the regional situation, including the “developing scenario” of Ukraine, also came under discussion, adding that the Russian president also hosted a luncheon for PM Imran.

After the meeting with Putin concluded, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak and Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov called on the premier along with a delegation.

 

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