- Russian President Vladimir Putin hinted that pipeline gas supplies to Pakistan are possible
- Putin and Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif met on the sidelines of SCO summit
- Pakistan's ties with Russia have moved past the bitter Cold War hostilities in recent years
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday hinted that pipeline gas supplies to Pakistan are possible, adding that part of the necessary infrastructure is already in place, news agency Reuters quoted Russian state media as saying.
Russian President Putin and Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Uzbekistan. The high-level meeting took place shortly after Prime Minister Sharif reached Samarkand in Uzbekistan to attend the annual meeting of the SCO's Council of Heads of State (CHS) during a two-day visit — from September 15 to 16.
"The issue is about pipeline gas supplies from Russia to Pakistan, which is also possible, which means part of infrastructure has already been created, meaning Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan. We have to solve the Afghan issue," Putin was quoted as saying by Russia's state-run TASS news agency.
"Of course, there are problems connected with political stability, but having in mind our mutually good relations with the Afghan people, I hope this problem can also be solved, I mean Pakistan’s influence on the situation in the country," he added.
Overall, Russia and Pakistan have other very interesting and ambitious projects, particularly in the energy sector, Putin noted. He also mentioned the Pakistani Stream project, which suggests the creation of infrastructure for supplies of liquified natural gas.
Pakistan's ties with Russia have moved past the bitter Cold War hostilities in recent years and the chill in the relations between Pakistan and the US has further pushed the country towards Russia and China.
The two countries are not just exploring options to deepen economic ties, but Russia is also keen to sell arms to Pakistan, something it avoided in the past because of India’s opposition.
The two countries have already been holding regular joint military exercises since 2016 in another sign of deepening ties between Moscow and Islamabad. Besides, the two countries also share the same view on key regional and international issues including Afghanistan.
(with PTI inputs )