Astana (Agencies): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Russian President Vladimir Putin met on Wednesday, engaging in discussions focused on expanding bilateral trade and strengthening relations between Pakistan and Russia.

During his televised opening remarks, Prime Minister Shehbaz emphasized the potential to significantly increase the current bilateral trade volume, which stands at around $1 billion. He highlighted the need to resolve financial and banking issues to facilitate this growth.

Prime Minister Shehbaz, who attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Council of Heads of State (CHS) and SCO Plus summits, expressed pleasure in meeting President Putin, recalling their previous interaction in Samarkand. He congratulated President Putin on his re-election and expressed confidence in Russia’s continued progress under his leadership.

Shehbaz noted the positive trajectory of Pakistan-Russia relations over the past several years and expressed his readiness to work closely with President Putin to further strengthen bilateral ties. He acknowledged the benefits of Putin’s experience and leadership in enhancing these relations.

Expressing gratitude for a recent oil shipment to Pakistan, Shehbaz conveyed his desire for continued cooperation in this area. He emphasized that Pakistan-Russia ties are not influenced by geopolitical factors, citing a long history of business relations. He reminisced about the barter trade between the two countries from the 1950s to the 1970s, during which Pakistan imported machinery from Russia and exported leather and other commodities.

President Putin echoed Prime Minister Shehbaz’s sentiments, mentioning their prior discussions in Samarkand about improving bilateral relations. He noted that Pakistan and Russia enjoy cordial relations, strengthened by trade linkages. Putin highlighted the potential for enhanced cooperation in energy and agriculture and expressed his readiness to promote collaboration in the field of food security.

The meeting concluded with a mutual commitment to further explore avenues for strengthening bilateral trade and cooperation between Pakistan and Russia.

By Media

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