Pakistan-Russia bilateral ties have recently witnessed another upsurge, especially with conclusion of the joint military exercises in Pakistan and PM Imran Khan holding a meeting with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in China.
PM Khan called upon Premier Medvedev, on Monday, during the International Import Expo in Shanghai. During the meeting, PM Khan also emphasized on Russian investments in Pakistan. Moreover, PM Khan and Premier Medvedev expressed satisfaction over the upward trajectory of the bilateral relations between Pakistan and Russia.
Prime Minister Imran Khan meets Russian Prime Minister D A Medvedev in Shanghai. FM Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Finance Mr. Asad Umar and Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Mr. Abdul Razzak Dawood were present during the meeting. #Pakistan #Russia 🇵🇰🇷🇺 pic.twitter.com/C9JLPkCDib
— Developing Pakistan (@DevelopmentPk) November 5, 2018
Both the countries also emphasized on the urgency of increasing bilateral cooperation, especially economic cooperation with PM Khan welcoming Russian investments in Pakistan’s energy section. Both the leaders also discussed the importance of multi-lateral cooperation, especially through forums such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
Talking about this improvement in ties, security expert Ikram Sehgal says that it is a win-win situation for Pakistan when it comes to its ties with Russia. “Pakistan should maintain friendly ties with Moscow, yet it must implement a neutral foreign policy,” Sehgal said while talking to Tribune 24/7.
Sehgal further said that “despite reservations expressed by India and Afghanistan, Russia has taken an independent course, and is organising Afghan talks in Moscow”.
Both the countries have also recently taken part in joint military exercises, both in Russia and Pakistan. In that regard, on the final day of Druzhba-III exercise, General Bajwa visited the National Counter Terrorism Center at Pabbi and appreciated the participating troops for their dedication, skill and professionalism. The Russian Deputy Head of Mission in Pakistan Valadamir Betezyuk was also present on the occasion.
COAS visited National CT Center Pabbi on last day of Pak – Russia Jt Trg Exercise which focused on CT trg of spec ops forces of Pak & Russia while exchanging mutual CT experiences.
“Exercise is great forum to reinforce existing relationship between the two militaries”, COAS. pic.twitter.com/D7Kvz1BcEm
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) November 5, 2018
On the other hand, there is also room for further improvement on the economic front for both the countries. The total bilateral trade between Pakistan and Russia currently stands at US $ 478.03 million in year 2017-18 with a trade balance of $ US 184.20 million, the National Assembly was recently informed. According to the Minister for Commerce and Textile, the exports of Pakistan to Russia during this period were recorded to be US $ 146.92 million whereas the imports from Russia to Pakistan were recorded to be US $ 331.12 million.