This comes after Pakistan’s cooling relationship with the US and increased willingness to enhance engagement with Russia..reports Asian Lite News
The drift of Pakistan towards Russia would have great bearing on the regional geopolitics and geo-economics as the bilateral engagements between both nations have recently been witnessing a significant surge, reported Geo-politik.
This comes after Pakistan’s cooling relationship with the US and increased willingness to enhance engagement with Russia. The increasing bonhomie of Pakistan with Russia might again open opportunities to Russia for being a strategic player in the Indian Ocean and South Asian region, especially in Afghanistan and West Asia, reported Geo-politik.
There are many areas in which both countries have stepped forward to cooperate. Pakistan and Russia signed the North-South Gas Pipeline project from Karachi to Gwadar in 2015, reported Geo-politik.
In 2021, the terms of the project were altered which had been earlier agreed on the build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) basis in which Moscow was to provide 75 per cent and Pakistan the remaining 25 per cent funding.
The new agreement stipulated that Pakistani state-owned companies hold 74 per cent of shares with 74 per cent of funding leaving the remaining 26 per cent to Russia. Now the project is known as Pakistan stream, reported Geo-politik.
Moreover, energy cooperation between the two countries is on the rise. In early December 2022, after a short visit to Russia, Pakistan Petroleum Minister, Musadik Malik announced that Russia would provide Pakistan with crude oil and diesel at a discounted price.
He also confirmed a Russian invitation to begin talks over the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Pakistan which could begin in 2025 or 2026.
In February 2022, Denis Alipov, Russia’s envoy to New Delhi said that Moscow had kept its defence cooperation with Islamabad at the minimum level, but wanted to expand bilateral relations, reported Geo-politik.
However, Russia has maintained a minimal defence relationship with the country, eg., supply of multi-task helicopters to Pakistan or annual joint military exercises (Friendship 2016, Joint Russian-Pakistani Druzohba 2020, Friendship 2021, Multinational Naval Exercises Aman 2021).
Recently Russian State Energy Corporation ‘Rosatom’ authorities proposed to send a delegation to Islamabad to hold consultations with concerned Pak authorities on the non-power application of nuclear technologies including water desalination, reported Geo-politik.
For Pakistan after China, Russia is one of the choicest substitutes for its long-term ally the US, which is fast turning a cold foot in engagement.
Both Pakistan and the US are getting increasingly disillusioned with each other due to the non-realisation of their agenda from engagement, reported Geo-politik. (ANI)