ISLAMABAD - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Friday said that his country is keen to expand its relations with Pakistan since close cooperation between Pakistan and Russia would not only be of benefit to the two countries but would also help in building stability and prosperity in the region.
According to Foreign Office, the Russian Foreign Minister made this statement in a meeting with Sartaj Aziz, advisor to the prime minister on national security and foreign affairs, in Moscow on Friday.
The advisor in his response said there was also a consensus in Pakistan for improving relations with Russia. The prime minister has a new vision for Pakistan. It is based on creating economic partnerships with nations. Pakistan, therefore, wants to develop a multidimensional relationship with Russia in the fields of trade, energy, infrastructure development, defence and culture.
Both the leaders agreed that the positive role of recent and forthcoming high level exchanges between the two countries would help in moving forward this objective.
During the meeting, situation in Afghanistan, cooperation in the efforts against extremism and terrorism, drugs control, and situation in the Middle East, including Syria and Iraq, was also discussed.
In the course of discussion, it was agreed that the forthcoming Summit meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Dushanbe in September would provide a useful opportunity for discussing the emerging situation in the post-2014 Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Lavrov conveyed that Russia fully supported Pakistan's entry into SCO as a full member.
The two leaders agreed that there was considerable scope for cooperation in the field of energy since Pakistan has a very large scale programme to overcome its energy crisis and many Russian companies are keen to participate in this programme.
Aziz informed Lavrov that Pakistan was looking forward to the next meeting of the inter-governmental commission on trade, economic, scientific, and technical cooperation in November 2014 in Moscow as well as the joint working group on energy preceding the IGC.
Aziz thanked Lavrov for Russian agreement to provide MI-35 helicopters to Pakistan and expressed the hope that Pakistan's further request for defence equipment would also be considered soon as part of Pak-Russia continued defence collaboration.
The Russian foreign minister welcomed prime minister's recent meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and expressed the hope that constructive dialogue and improved relations between the two countries would be beneficial for the security and stability of the region.
Before his return to Pakistan, Aziz told a correspondent of ItarTass News Agency that his visit to Russia was successful since he and Foreign Minister Lavrov not only agreed on the need for better relations but had also worked on a roadmap with timelines to carry the relationship forward.
Earlier, the advisor to the prime minister on national security and foreign affairs attended the 'Fifth Meeting of High Officials responsible for Security' in Kazan on 19 June 2014.