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Vladimir Putin: Russia, Pakistan in talks for Vladimir Putin’s maiden visit to the country: Report

Pakistan and Russia are in talks to finalise the plan for Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s first visit to the nation this yr, in accordance to a media report.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has already prolonged a proper invitation to President Putin. He reiterated the invitation to Putin throughout his latest telephonic dialog with the Russian president.

The two leaders are additionally anticipated to meet in Beijing subsequent month on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.

The visit of the Russian president was being mentioned by the two sides for the final two years however couldn’t materialise due to a wide range of causes together with the Covid-19 pandemic, officers conversant in the improvement instructed The Express Tribune on Sunday.

The possible visit of President Putin will probably be the end result of years of efforts by two sides to open a brand new chapter in their ties that had been marred by the Cold War rivalry.

Moscow additionally desires that there should be ‘huge ticket initiatives’ or different initiatives that the Russian president would announce when he lastly undertakes the journey to Pakistan, the report mentioned.

However, diplomatic sources mentioned Putin needed to undertake the visit when he had “something big to sell”.

With the signing of the Pakistan Steam Gas Pipeline settlement, the prospects of Putin visiting Pakistan have brightened considerably.

Pakistan is eager that President Putin inaugurates the groundbreaking of the multibillion-dollar gasoline pipeline undertaking, which could kick off later this yr. Pakistan desires Russian firms to lay the pipeline from Karachi in Sindh province to Kasur in Punjab province.

The North-South Gas Pipeline, which has now been renamed as Pakistan Steam Gas Pipeline, is a flagship undertaking that the two nations intend to undertake ever since they determined to bury their Cold War rivalry and enter into a brand new period of bilateral ties.

The settlement was initially signed in 2015 however due to potential US sanctions on the Russian firms and different points, the work on the 1,122km-long pipeline couldn’t be began.

However, the two sides lastly crossed these obstacles and signed an amended settlement that will now give 74% stakes in the pipeline to Pakistan. Earlier, the pipeline was to be constructed utterly by Russia below the constructed, function and switch mannequin.

The undertaking will price round USD 2.25 billion. Once full, the pipeline will assist tackle the scarcity of gasoline in Punjab. The LNG that Pakistan now imports will probably be re-gasified by way of this proposed pipeline.

Officials conversant in the improvement mentioned the undertaking not solely had financial however strategic significance for Pakistan. They mentioned Pakistan needed to broaden ties with Russia as a part of its efforts to diversify its international coverage choices.

In April final yr, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Islamabad after a spot of just about 9 years. During the visit, he conveyed a message to Pakistani management on behalf of President Putin that Moscow was keen to lengthen all potential assist to Islamabad.

The two nations will not be simply exploring choices to deepen financial ties, however Russia can also be eager to promote arms to Pakistan, one thing it prevented in the previous due to India’s opposition.

The two nations have already been holding common joint army workouts since 2016 in one other signal of deepening ties between Moscow and Islamabad. Besides, the two nations additionally share the similar view on key regional and worldwide points together with Afghanistan, in accordance to the Express Tribune.

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