Pak Russia Relations and contemporary scenarios

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Following Pakistan’s independence in 1947, then Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan was invited by both the Soviet Union and the US. Initially the Relations between Pakistan and Russia were not as warm as they became later. The cold war era was also cold with regards to relations between the two countries. From Russian point of view, good relations with Pakistan act as a counterbalance to the United State’s global influence and could bring another ally in support of its security goals in the region. Russia hopes that improving ties with Pakistan gives it leverage at two levels. One, it will obtain an advantage on issues of terrorism and on Afghanistan by building better relations with Islamabad. The volume of bilateral trade has increased by 82 percent in the first five months of 2018 and stood at $450 million. Moscow is also working to help Pakistan build a 1,100-kilometer gas pipeline linking Karachi to Lahore. The Islamabad Moscow security partnership has strengthened and expanded since late 2014, when the two countries signed their defense cooperation agreement. The evolving strategic environment in South Asia, in addition to shifting power arrangements at the global level, has led to some important, yet strange, alliance formations. Russia and Pakistan, once Cold War antagonists, are bolstering bilateral ties across diverse realms. One can easily gaze the warm relations between the two countries which is actually demonstration of fresh foreign policy directives. The relations between the two are not merely restricted to defense sector, but can be seen in the economic and development sectors. Russia has consistently supported Pakistan’s Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) membership bid. The leadership from both sides also seems to be very much pragmatic regarding building the new phase of relations. Russia and Pakistan are negotiating potential energy deals worth in excess of $10 billion. In 2018, Russia appointed an honorary council in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province, where the efforts are in progress to build an oil refinery and a power station. Pakistan and Russia has also signed an inter-governmental agreement (IGA) on energy, paving the way for Russian state-giant Gazprom to enter negotiations to supply LNG to Pakistan. The desire to augment bilateral relations between Moscow and Islamabad should be explored for a new beginning by building a strong edifice of interactions aimed at strategic, political and economic convergence through consultations on the evolving new security architecture in the Asia pacific region as well Greater Eurasian Region.

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