Russia terms Pakistan an important partner and power in the region

Russia terms Pakistan an important partner and power in the region

ISLAMABAD - Counselor from the Embassy of the Russian Federation Dr Sergei A. Baranov on Friday termed Pakistan an important partner for Russia saying that the significance of Pakistan was determined by its role in regional politics.

Giving an overview of Pakistan-Russia’s bilateral relations at the one-day seminar titled “Evolving Regional Dynamics and Future of Pakistan-Russia Relations held here, Dr Sergei said that Pakistan has great influence in the world as it has an important geostrategic importance, said a press release issued here.

“Interaction with Pakistan in the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), as a full-fledged member, is very important for Russia to carry out cross-regional economic, energy and infrastructure projects, and we are very glad that Pakistan is practically engaged in SCO, especially in joint counterterrorism efforts.”

Dr Baranov said that recent years have witnessed steadfast progress in bilateral relations as both sides has regularly exchange views on key issues of regional and bilateral importance. “Such meetings give an added impetus to our mutually beneficial partnership”, he remarked.

The Counselor also pointed out that the economic dimension of Pak-Russian cooperation has not corresponded to its potential.

He stressed that both countries have to fasten it working on Russian-Pakistani Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation, in order to increase mutual trade potential.

On the occasion, President of Islamabad Policy of Research (IPRI), Vice Admiral Saddique stressed that there was common areas of cooperation between Pakistan and Russia such as combating terrorism, bilateral trade, economic cooperation and stability in the region, especially Afghanistan.

“As Asia emerges as a hub of economic corridors, Pakistan offers attractive economic opportunities to the regional countries and beyond. CPEC, a pilot project of Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a case in point. Initiatives like Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI)”.

Ambassador (R) Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director General, Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS), was of the view that while Pakistan, Iran, China and the Central Asian states have already been playing an instrumental role in the Afghan peace process through several track two initiatives, the Moscow Format talks in November 2018, as well as recent intra-Afghan dialogue in Moscow in February 2019 are very important and historic because they were the first official intra-Afghan talks, stimulating optimism by bringing a different and much needed dimension to the Afghan peace process, predicted that the SCO, in the future, could become an arbiter of regional disputes.

Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), said that it is important to understand Russia’s geography, especially when it comes to enhancing economic relations with it since it borders 14 other countries.

He said that since becoming part of the World Trade Organization, Russia has consistently worked to improve its trade and commerce environment due to which its Ease of Doing Business ranking is at 35, more than 100 points better than Pakistan.