MOSCOW/ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Moscow on his two days official visit to Russia at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin late Wednesday.

Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Igor Morgulov received the Prime Minister at the airport. At his arrival, Guard of Honor was also presented to the Prime Minister, says a press statement issued by Prime Minister’s Office here.

Federal Ministers Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Asad Umar, and Hammad Azhar as well as Commerce Advisor Abdul Razak Dawood and National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf and MNA Amir Mahmood Kiani are accompanying the Prime Minister.

The bilateral summit between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Russian President Vladimir Putin will be the highlight of the visit. Besides, the Prime Minister will visit the biggest mosque of Russia and Islamic Centre in Moscow. Important leadership of Russia, including Deputy Prime Minister, investors, and businessmen will also meet Imran Khan.

During his meeting with President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Imran Khan will exchange views on international and regional issues. They will also discuss bilateral relations, especially cooperation in the energy sector. “Matters pertaining to Islamophobia and situation in Afghanistan will also be come under discussion.” Officials said.

Both leaders will discuss bilateral relations, cooperation in energy sector including gas pipeline project

Imran Khan will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin today, says Kremlin Spokesman

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit will strengthen bilateral relations between Pakistan and Russia. It is pertinent to mention that Imran Khan is the first Prime Minister, who is visiting Russia after two decades.

Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to hold a meeting with Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan on Thursday, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

 

On the other hand, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhary Fawad Hussain said that Prime Minister Imran Khan in an interview with a Russian television made it clear that Pakistan will not become part of any bloc.

 

He said the Prime Minister’s Moscow visit has gained great significance in view of current international scenario. He said all eyes are now on the meeting between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

 

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan left for Moscow on Wednesday to push for the construction of a long-delayed, multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline to be built in collaboration with Russian companies, a Pakistani official told Reuters news agency.

 

Khan’s trip to meet President Vladimir Putin and discuss issues including economic cooperation comes hours after a number of Western nations hit Russia with new sanctions for its military deployment into parts of eastern Ukraine

 

“Both countries are eager to launch the project at the earliest,” Pakistan’s energy ministry spokesman told Reuters about the Pakistan Stream gas pipeline. He confirmed that Energy Minister Hammad Azhar is accompanying Khan on the visit. The 1,100 km (683 mile)-long pipeline, also known as the North-South gas pipeline, was initially agreed to in 2015 and was to be financed by both Moscow and Islamabad, using a Russian company to construct it

 

In an interview ahead of his trip, Khan had expressed concern about the situation in Ukraine and the possibility of new sanctions and their effect on Islamabad’s budding cooperation with Moscow.

It is unclear how the latest sanctions will affect the project, which would deliver imported Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from Karachi on the Arabian Sea coast to power plants in the northeastern province of Punjab.

 

The project is important for Pakistan - particularly the power sector - as the country’s dependence on imported LNG grows in the face of dwindling indigenous gas supplies. The pipeline project has already suffered delays because of earlier sanctions.

 

“This North-South pipeline suffered, one of the reasons...was the companies we were negotiating with, turned out that U.S. had applied sanctions on them,” Khan told Russia Today on Tuesday.

“So, the problem was to get a company that wasn’t sanctioned,” he said of the project.