Putin reiterates interest to deepen Pak-Russia ties

97

Islamabad attaches great importance to relations with Moscow: Shehbaz; Working group to be set up to enhance cooperation

A Russian delegation, led by the Energy Minister, Nikolay Shulginov, called on Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, here on Thursday and delivered a special message of Russian President Vladimir Putin to him.

In his message, President Vladimir Vladimirovich, referring to Pakistan as Russia’s important partner in South Asia and the Islamic World, reiterated Russia’s strong interest to deepen the bilateral relationship.

Welcoming the delegation, Shehbaz Sharif highlighted the importance Pakistan attached to its relations with the Russian Federation. He recalled his meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Samarkand in September 2022 and said that the meeting had reached important decisions to further strengthen Pakistan-Russia relations.

He also noted with satisfaction the keen desire on both the sides to upgrade the bilateral cooperation in trade, investment and economic matters.

Nikolay Shulginov reciprocated the Prime Minister’s sentiments and delivered a special message of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Prime Minister.

Both sides agreed on the importance of energy sector for the development of bilateral economic and trade relations. In this regard views were exchanged on supplying oil and gas from Russia to Pakistan on a long term basis.

Matters related to gas pipelines were also reviewed. The Prime Minister provided guidance for the work of 8th Round of Pakistan-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission meeting scheduled to be held in Islamabad today.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Federal Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar, Minister for State for Petroleum Musadik Malik and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Tariq Fatimi were also present in the meeting.

Meanwhile, in a significant development at the second round of talks of Pakistan-Russia Inter-Government Commission session in Islamabad on second consecutive day, the two countries have agreed to form a working group for bilateral cooperation.

The 8th three-day meeting of the IGC, which started here on Wednesday, reviewed the areas of cooperation and looked into ways and means of exploring new opportunities for strengthening the bilateral relations.

Experts of the two countries held technical sessions and debated on possibilities to further deepen bilateral cooperation in trade and investment; agriculture; energy; industry; education; science and technology; information and communication technologies; finance, customs and communication, besides roads, postal service and railways.

The Russian side observed that the energy sector was the main focus because its Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov was himself leading the negotiations.

The two sides have decided to move forward together in the field of energy, and Pakistan would get the benefit of Russian expertise in the oil and gas sector.

The visiting delegation also suggested Pakistan take benefit of Russia’s expertise in the field of science & technology and research.

On the last day of the meeting on Friday, there would be a main discussion on the implementation of the gas pipeline construction project titled “the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline (PSGP),” oil and petroleum products delivery to Pakistan, Russian-Pakistani financial cooperation, implementation of the decisions and recommendations of the seventh meeting of the commission, besides cooperation in different sectors, before signing of the final protocol, as per the shared schedule.