Pakistan-Russia ties: What brings them closer

Pakistan-Russia ties: What brings them closer
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ISLAMABAD: 

Recent times have witnessed the close ties between the two cold war bitter rivals Pakistan and Russia.

The changing geo political and geo strategic environment in Asia have forced the two states to inch closer.

Pakistan-China strategic ties and China-Russia emerging strategic partnership played a key role and China has played it's part to bring Pakistan Russia equation closer.

Another natural element which played a significant role in bringing Pakistan-Russia closer is the strategic tilt of India towards United States hence both Pakistan and Russia were left with no other option but to hedge closer.

Pakistan's desire to enter the Central Asian and Russian markets and Russian desire to access warm waters and middle east has also played it's part. 

The recent events including the Pakistan-Russia bilateral military exercises on ground in Pakistan, provision of Russian Military Helicopters MI-35 to Pakistan, provision of RD-93 engines for JF-17 fighter jets, $2 billion North South Gas Pipeline project which is likely to be inaugurated by Russian President Vladimir Putin are just a few examples of emerging closer partnership of Pakistan and Russia.

Pakistan has started to attach great importance to the Russian dignitaries and associated events in Pakistan which is evident from the recent presence of Chief of the General Staff (CGS) Lieutenant-General Bilal Akbar at the reception held on the Russian Armed Forces Day the other day reinforced the perception that Pakistan and Russia shared a mutual desire for closer military cooperation besides a unity of views on combatting terrorism.

Lt-Gen Bilal Akbar attended the reception as a special guest.

The reception was hosted by Russia’s Ambassador Alexy Dedov and Defence Attaché Vladimir Balashov and Air Marshal Muhammad Iqbal was the chief guest on this occasion.

Terming the CGS’ presence highly significant, analysts said that Pakistan and Russia were already closely cooperating in the field of defence.

Pakistan intends to buy Russian military hardware and agreements are in final stages while the Russia too has shown interest in various Pakistani military hardware.

These sources said that apart from military cooperation both countries had commonality of views on terrorism besides sharing the desire to eliminate this menace.

“Both countries have already held a number of meetings in this regard,” diplomats said.

Pakistan and Russia share same reservation and view point on the rising trend of ISIS in Afghanistan and the recent meetings held in Moscow were manifestation of the same mindset in which Pakistan-Russia-China expressed desire for a peaceful solution in Afghanistan.

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