Vladimir Putin and Imran Khan talk during their meeting in Moscow on Thursday.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan held one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Kremlin and the two leaders held wide-ranging consultations on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.
According to a statement issued by the Russian foreign ministry both leaders discussed matters of mutual interest as well as prevailing situation in South Asia. Radio Pakistan reported that the one-on-one meeting had a “wide-ranging agenda” relating to bilateral matters and regional developments.
“The two leaders reviewed the entire array of bilateral relations, including economic and energy co-operation, particularly the Pakistan Stream gas pipeline,” the report said. The report added that the regional situation, including the “developing scenario” of Ukraine, also came under discussion, adding that Putin also hosted a luncheon for Imran. Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak also called on the prime minister.
A one-hour-long meeting between the two leaders was scheduled but after the Russian attack on Ukraine, the Moscow authorities have extended the duration of the meeting to three hours, The News reported. Before the meeting, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, who is part of Imran’s delegation in Moscow, confirmed that the Pakistan premier was on his way to meet Putin, debunking “speculation” regarding the premier’s visit being cut short amid Ukraine-Russia tensions.
Sharing the update on Twitter, Chaudhry said after the meeting between both leaders, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Valentinovich Novak would call on Imran and the delegation accompanying him at the hotel where they are staying. In a tweet, the information minister said the premier’s “visit is proceeding and PM will return to Pakistan tonight as per schedule.”
Earlier, Imran laid a floral wreath at the monument of heroes killed in World War II, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, during his two-day visit to Russia. The prime minister who was accompanied by federal ministers Asad Umar, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Fawad Chaudhry and others, visited the monument of heroes killed in World War II and a laid floral wreath.
Imran became the first world leader to visit Russia after the Russia-Ukraine crisis began. Imran is the first Pakistani leader to visit the country in 23 years in official capacity.
Imran Khan (centre right) takes part in a wreath-laying ceremony in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday. AP
"Both countries are eager to launch the project at the earliest," Pakistan's energy ministry spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday ahead of Khan's two-day visit.
Also high on the agenda will be plans for the $2.5 billion Pakistan Stream natural gas pipeline that Moscow wants to build between the port of Karachi and Kasur, around 650 miles north in the heart of Punjab province.
Imran Khan takes part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Kremlin Wall in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday. Reuters
PM arrived at the Moscow airport, where he was received by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov.
At his arrival, the Russian military presented a guard of honour to the prime minister. According to a statement, matters pertaining to Islamophobia and situation in Afghanistan will also come under discussion.
Besides, the prime minister will visit the biggest mosque of Russia and Islamic Centre in Moscow. Pakistan and Russia have reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen the bilateral relations. This understanding was reached during a meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Thursday.
They discussed important regional and global issues, including bilateral relations, enhancing co-operation in areas of mutual interest. Talking on the occasion, Qureshi said that Pakistan attaches special importance to bilateral relations with Russia. He said relations between Pakistan and Russia have gradually strengthened.
He said that Pakistan in line with the vision of Imran was pursuing the agenda of promoting economic priorities and regional links. The foreign minister expressed these views during the meeting with Lavrov along with the delegation.
During the meeting, the two sides exchanged views on various subjects including the bilateral relations, enhanced co-operation in the areas of mutual interest and important regional and international matters. As
Lavrov welcomed his Pakistani counterpart, the two sides reviewed the whole range of Pakistan-Russia bilateral relations and reiterated their commitment to further strengthen the bilateral ties. Lavrov congratulated Qureshi and the Pakistani leadership over the successful holding of the extraordinary meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Council of Foreign Ministers (OIC-CFM). He also expressed good wishes for the success of 48th meeting of the OICCFM expected to be held in Islamabad on March 22-23. Agencies
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