Pakistan, Russia look at ‘multidimensional strategic partnership’ in region

Special Pakistan, Russia look at ‘multidimensional strategic partnership’ in region
Foreign Office spokesperson Dr. Faisal during a press briefing. (Photo courtesy: Pakistan Foreign Office)
Updated 02 May 2018

Pakistan, Russia look at ‘multidimensional strategic partnership’ in region

Pakistan, Russia look at ‘multidimensional strategic partnership’ in region
  • The swiftly evolving geopolitical situation in the region has led Pakistan and Russia to a historic high point in their bilateral relations.
  • Relations between the two countries are today characterized by mutual trust, commonality of interests and convergence of views on important regional and global issues.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan-Russia relations are fast evolving into a “mature relationship” encompassing cooperation over counterterrorism, trade and defense. 
“Pakistan and Russia are building new partnership amid hopes and compromises. Both states are working for full spectrum connectivity, but the security agenda has dominated the bilateral talks (so far),” analyst Qamar Cheema told Arab News.
Pakistan marked the 70th anniversary of bilateral relations with the Russian Federation on May 1, 2018, with focus on “multi-dimensional strategic partnership.”
“We believe that long-term multidimensional strategic partnership between the two countries will be mutually beneficial for the people of Pakistan and the Russian Federation and would contribute toward regional peace and stability,” said a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Tuesday. 
In April, a high-level Russian delegation, led by Sergey S. Goreslavsky, deputy general director at Russia’s RosoboronExport, and Valery Molostov, Chief Counsellor of Presidential Administration, visited Pakistan. They said that “Russia considers Pakistan as a reliable partner in South Asia and is keen to develop strong bilateral relations in all possible areas.”
On March 14, a Russian delegation led by Deputy Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Mikhail Popov, along with other senior officials, met Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Lt .Gen. (Retd.) Nasser Khan Janjua and agreed that such visits always prove to be instrumental in enhancing better understanding and further strengthening of bilateral relations.
During the discussion, the Russian delegation reiterated the commitment of his government to enhance cooperation with Pakistan in all possible areas including military, defense, intelligence, security, energy and training. 
“Relations between the two countries are today characterized by mutual trust, commonality of interests and convergence of views on important regional and global issues. Both countries have similar stakes in durable peace and stability in their common neighborhood, and harbor shared aspirations for regional development and prosperity,” the Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry acknowledged. 
The ministry said that the upward trajectory is being maintained through sustained high-level interaction through strong institutional mechanisms and cementing cooperation in trade and commerce.
The two countries have also collaborated closely at international forums, including the UN. 
Russia has been a strong supporter of Pakistan’s membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), another useful platform for close cooperation on matters of common concern.
“Pakistan views Russia as an important global power, a significant development partner, and a salient contributor to regional stability,” Foreign Office spokesperson Dr. Mohammed Faisal said. 
“The presence of Islamic State (Daesh) in Afghanistan is a common threat for Pakistan and Russia; both the countries believe that the US is not doing enough for regional stability and this factor has also contributed to bring Moscow and Islamabad closer,” said Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Amjad Shoaib, a security analyst, while talking to Arab News. 
The hard-line US approach toward Pakistan lately pushed Islamabad to also look at Russia for its defense needs.
“Russia has sold some helicopters to Pakistan and I think Moscow is willing to sell more (military) hardware but Islamabad is assessing its defense requirement,” said Shoaib.