Putin says pipeline gas supplies to Pakistan possible

SAMARKAND (APP): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday met Russian President Vladimir V. Putin wherein he reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to work closely with Russia to further expand and strengthen bilateral cooperation.
During the meeting held on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Heads of State held here, the prime minister said Pakistan was committed to expand cooperation with Russia across all areas of mutual benefit including food security, trade & investment, energy, defence and security. The two leaders discussed bilateral ties and exchanged views on regional and international issues.
The prime minister thanked President Putin for Russia’s expression of solidarity and support for the people affected by the massive floods in Pakistan. He also shared details of the devastating impact of this climate-induced calamity. Prime Minister Sharif expressed satisfaction at steady growth of Pakistan-Russia relations, which were marked by strong mutual trust and understanding. It was agreed to convene the next meeting of the Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) in Islamabad at an early date.
Appreciating Russia’s constructive role in Afghanistan, the prime minister said that both Pakistan and Russia had vital stakes in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. He said that it was essential to intensify the pace of international engagement on Afghanistan and reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to support all regional and international efforts to stabilize Afghanistan.
During the meeting, Russian President Putin, while calling for need to work on connectivity and energy projects, discussed possibility of Pakistan Russia Stream Gas Pipeline project which he said required the infrastructure for delivery of LNG to Pakistan, according to a statement issued by the Russian presidency. It was highlighted that the political stability in Afghanistan was essential to accomplish the connectivity projects. He said Russia saw Pakistan as a priority partner in Southeast Asia and Asia as a whole and the relations between the two countries were developing “absolutely positively.”
He expressed condolences over the loss of lives caused by floods in Pakistan. He said Russia had dispatched the necessary humanitarian aid to Pakistan and was ready to help organise assistance to the flood victims. President Putin said regrettably, the Pak-Russian bilateral ties subsided due to the pandemic, but the next meeting of the intergovernmental commission was scheduled to take place in Karachi this autumn. He hoped that during the upcoming meeting, both sides would not only find ways to restore mutual trade but also to increase it.
The Prime Minister also met with Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Raisi wherein both the countries agreed to further promote bilateral relations in diverse fields.
During the meeting, held on the sidelines of the annual Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of Shanghai Cooperation Organization being held here, both sides affirmed the desire to strengthen cooperation in economic, trade, connectivity, energy, culture and people-to-people links. The two leaders exchanged views on the entire range of bilateral relations.
Both the leaders positively evaluated the outcome of the Pakistan-Iran Joint Economic Commission and agreed to further promote bilateral relations in diverse fields. The prime minister underscored the need for closer bilateral engagement for boosting economic and energy cooperation, operationalizing barter trade, opening border sustenance markets, and facilitation of Pakistani Zaireen.
It was agreed that Pakistan would be sending a delegation to discuss measures for expanded cooperation in bilateral trade and energy sectors. Prime Minister Sharif extended his gratitude to President Raisi and to the people of Iran for their solidarity and support with the Pakistani nation during the massive floods in the country. He highlighted the devastating impact of the floods caused by climate change, and underscored that Pakistan, with the least carbon emissions, was bearing the cost of something for which it was not responsible.
He stressed the importance of tangible international action to help address the challenges that climatically vulnerable countries like Pakistan were facing. The prime minister reiterated his invitation to President Raisi to visit Pakistan at the earliest convenience. President Raisi renewed his invitation to the prime minister to visit Iran.