President Vladimir Putin met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Kremlin on Thursday in his first face-to-face talks since the start of a special Russian military operation in eastern Ukraine and the two leaders discussed the main aspects of bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on current regional topics, including “developments in South Asia”.
Khan had arrived in Moscow yesterday on a two-day visit, first by a Pakistani premier in over two decades. He will hold talks with President Putin to reset the bilateral ties and expand cooperation in the energy sector.
Earlier, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said, “What a time I have come, so much excitement,” while interacting with members of the delegation that welcomed him.
Imran Khan can also be heard saying, “I am so excited to come to Moscow.”
Meanwhile, in Washington, Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price said that the US has communicated its position to Islamabad on Russia’s “renewed invasion” of Ukraine and it was the “responsibility” of every country to voice objection to Putin’s actions.
Imran Khan was welcomed at the airport by Russian deputy foreign minister Igor Morgulov, who was escorted by the Russian military.
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.
(With inputs from agencies)