PM Khan's visit to Russia mutually beneficial, symbolises win-win situation

By Fatima Javed | Gwadar Pro Feb 25, 2022

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Russia symbolises a win-win situation for both Moscow and Islamabad and as the Imran-Putin meeting navigates through bitter history, the future presents mutually beneficial and brighter horizons, political analysts who did not wish to be identified told Gwadar Pro.

Islamabad and Moscow, have restored ties in recent years, routinely holding joint military exercises and attempting to develop energy cooperation to help Pakistan overcome shortages.

Both sides say their ties are marked by “mutual respect, trust and convergence of views on a range of international and regional issues”.

Although Islamabad-Moscow ties continue to remain security-oriented, at the same time efforts are afoot for expanding economic cooperation.

Russia is particularly interested in the energy sector and is likely to invest in the construction of the 1100km-(683mile) long Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline that is planned for transporting gas from Karachi to Kasur. The two sides are currently negotiating shareholding and facilitation agreements of the project.

Experts believe that the strong relationship between China and Pakistan, as illustrated most recently by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), has long played a key role in Asia’s geopolitics.

However, broader regional developments over the last few months also raise the possibility of a new partnership involving Pakistan, China, and Russia.

The expansion of Russian influence in South Asia could lead to Moscow reaping some of the economic benefits of CPEC, which inherently brings in Pakistan, as it sits on the most critical segment of BRI.

President Putin simplified this grand strategic vision as “[being formed] on the basis of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI)”. He added, “this is a flexible modern project open to other participants”. 

On a grander scale, Pakistan could be the trans-regional gateway state for the EAEU’s further bloc-to-bloc integration with not only SAARC, CPEC but also the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and even the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) considering that the Gulf countries are investing in CPEC too and could take advantage of its terminal port of Gwadar.

Again, Pakistan surfaces as an important element as only a successful CPEC will create the right vibes for other (Russian) initiatives to progress.

Pak-Russia relations face ups and down in history. It is the call of time for both countries to put aside their bitter terms of the past and focus on developing a coalition with each other in response to the geopolitical demands.



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