Putin's visit not scheduled, FO clarifies

ISLAMABAD: The expectations of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Pakistan this month died down on Monday after Foreign Office stated that no such visit has yet been scheduled.

“We have seen some media reports regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Pakistan,” Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said while commenting on the media reports, claiming that President Putin may visit Pakistan this month following Prime Minister Imran Khan made it clear that Pakistan would “absolutely not” allow any bases and use of its territory to the US for any sort of operation after its withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The spokesperson clarified that “while invitations for visits at the summit level have been extended by both sides, no such visit has been scheduled yet.”

“Pakistan and Russia are close partners and friends. The two sides are committed to building a strong multi-dimensional relationship that not only serves their respective national interests but also contributes to regional as well as global peace and security,” he said, adding that exchange of high level visits was an important part of the growing Pakistan-Russia relations.

He pointed out that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov paid a successful visit to Islamabad in April this year, and last year Pakistan’s foreign minister and defence minister visited the Russian Federation.

Foreign Minister Lavrov’s two-day trip to Pakistan was the first visit by a Russian foreign minister in nine years, came at a time as Moscow seeks to increase its stature in the region, particularly in Afghanistan amid the US and NATO forces withdrawal.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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