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In the midst of Ukraine crisis, Pakistan seeks 'multi-dimensional relationship' with Russia as Imran Khan meet Putin

On a day that Russian President Vladimir Putin precipitated a global crisis by announcing a "special military operation" into neighboring Ukraine, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan became the first foreign leader to meet him in the Kremlin where he declared that he was seeking a "long-term, multi-dimensional relationship with Russia"

Feb 25, 2022
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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan meet Russian President Vladimir Putin (Photo: Bolnews)

On a day that Russian President Vladimir Putin precipitated a global crisis by announcing a "special military operation" into neighboring Ukraine, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan became the first foreign leader to meet him in the Kremlin where he declared that he was seeking a "long-term, multi-dimensional relationship with Russia".

Pakistan and Russia discussed the “main aspects of bilateral cooperation” and exchanged views on “regional and international issues” in a meeting between the two leaders that was scheduled for one hour but lasted almost three hours, Russian media said. Khan also “regretted” the prevailing situation between Russia and Ukraine.

Khan also said that Pakistan had hoped “diplomacy could avert a military conflict.”

Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement, “Both the leaders discussed the main aspects of bilateral cooperation and exchange views on current regional topics, including developments in South Asia.”

Radio Pakistan, a state broadcaster, reported two leaders discussed 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 cooperation, particularly the Pakistan Stream gas pipeline," the report said.

The Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline (PSGP) formerly known as the North-South gas pipeline, is a proposed 1,100 km long pipeline to be built by Russian companies, stretching from the port city of Karachi to Kasur in Punjab to supply Russian liquified natural gas (LNG) to energy-starved power plants. 

"The prime minister underscored Pakistan’s commitment to [forging] a long-term, multi-dimensional relationship with Russia," Dawn reported, citing a handout released by the Pakistan Prime Minister’s Office.

“Recalling the telephone conversations during the recent months between the two leaders, the prime minister expressed confidence that the positive trajectory of bilateral relations will continue to move forward in the future," reads the handout released by the PMO. 

During the meeting, Imran Khan also underlined the need for addressing the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and preventing a potential economic meltdown in the war-torn country. He also appreciated President Putin’s understanding of the “respect and sensitivities that the Muslims attach to the Holy Prophet”. 

Khan asserted that interfaith harmony and respect for all religions was "imperative for peace and harmony within and among societies."

(SAM)

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