Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi received Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Foreign Office today. The two Foreign Ministers had wide-ranging talks covering bilateral relations and regional and global issues.
Extending a warm welcome, Foreign Minister Qureshi recalled his earlier meeting with Foreign Minister Lavrov on the sidelines of SCO Council of Ministers in Moscow in September 2020. The Foreign Minister underlined that strengthening of relations with the Russian Federation was an important foreign policy priority for Pakistan and that Pakistan-Russia relations, today, were marked by enhanced mutual trust and understanding. Noting the important progress achieved in bilateral relations, the Foreign Minister agreed on the need to intensify efforts to deepen cooperation in all areas, including economy and trade, energy, counter-terrorism, security and defence, education, and people-to-people exchanges.
The Foreign Minister added that the next meeting of the Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) would cover a wide agenda encompassing economic, trade and energy cooperation between the two countries and must be result-oriented. Foreign Minister Qureshi also reiterated Pakistan’s resolve to work with Russia for early commencement of the ‘Pakistan Stream’ Gas Pipeline project.
Foreign Minister Qureshi congratulated Russia on developing COVID-19 vaccine and highlighted Pakistan’s plans to acquire more Sputnik-V as well as to have joint venture for production of the vaccine in Pakistan.
The Foreign Minister briefed his Russian counterpart on Pakistan’s priorities relating to peace and stability in Afghanistan centered on an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. He appreciated Russia’s role in the Afghan peace process including through convening of the meeting of Extended Troika in Moscow in March 2021.
The Foreign Minister dilated on the human rights situation in IIOJK and underlined Pakistan’s approach to the issues of peace and security in South Asia and peaceful resolution of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute.
The Foreign Minister noted with appreciation the close cooperation between Pakistan and Russia within the United Nations and at other multilateral fora including SCO. Matters relating to Security Council reform were also discussed.
There were detailed exchanges on matters relating to South Asia, West Asia, the Gulf region, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific. The two Ministers also discussed the potential of Euroasian Economic Union (EEU) and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The Foreign Minister stressed that Pakistan remained committed to forge a closer, multi-dimensional relationship with Russia — marked by trust and understanding. He added that Foreign Minister Lavrov’s latest visit would help commence a new chapter in this direction.