Islamabad: Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that his country will provide “special” military equipment to help Pakistan combat terrorism.
It has been agreed between these two opponents of the Cold War period to increase cooperation in fighting terrorism and to conduct joint naval and land exercises. Lavrov, who arrived in Pakistan via India, said there were plans to conduct more military and naval exercises with Pakistan and to deepen bilateral relations.
Lavrov, Russia’s first foreign minister visiting Pakistan in nearly a decade, made these comments at a joint press conference after delegation-level talks with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi. During the talks, the two agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in the areas of security including economy, trade, counter-terrorism and defense.
Without giving details of Russian equipment, Lavrov said, “We are ready to enhance Pakistan’s counter-terrorism capability, including the supply of special military equipment to Pakistan.”
“It is in the interest of all the states in the region. Both sides have also agreed to organize military exercises,” he added.
Russia and Pakistan hold joint exercises – Drujba every year since 2016. Russia has previously said that India should not be concerned about its relations with Pakistan and that Moscow is committed to developing relations with Islamabad as it is a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Lavrov is the first Russian foreign minister to visit Pakistan after 2012. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi welcomed him at the airport.
Qureshi tweeted, Pakistan and Russia share a multifaceted relationship. We welcome Lavrov’s visit, which is in line with further strengthening our bilateral relations. Pakistan’s Foreign Office said that during various negotiations, all aspects of Pakistan-Russia relations will be discussed, especially in the areas of defense and defense, energy, counter-terrorism, Afghan peace process, economy and trade.
Qureshi had earlier said that Lavrov’s visit would be the first visit by a Russian foreign minister to the country in nine years. There is no doubt that Russia is an important country in the region. His visit to Pakistan shows that our bilateral relations are taking a new turn. Both countries want to pursue the North South Gas Pipeline project, which has been in the news for quite some time. The Pakistan Steel Mill in Karachi was set up with Russian help and there is a chance to get it out of the current financial crisis.