Pakistan PM Imran Khan arrives in Moscow on two-day visit amid the Ukraine crisis

Moscow: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Moscow late on Wednesday night on a two-day visit amid the ongoing crisis on the Ukraine-Russia border.

It comes as tensions escalate after Russia’s recognition of the eastern Ukrainian enclaves of Donetsk and Luhansk. As a reaction to Moscow’s actions, many Western countries imposed new sanctions on Russia for its military deployments in parts of eastern Ukraine. Imran Khan’s visit at the wrong time, the first such visit by a Pakistani PM in 23 years, aimed at taking Pakistan forwardHe is building a long-delayed, multi-billion dollar gas pipeline to be built in collaboration with Russian companies.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan will also meet Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit and will discuss issues related to economic cooperation.

Earlier, Pakistani media reports said that Moscow and Islamabad were in talks to finalize Russian President Vladimir Putin’s travel plans this year.

A Pakistani newspaper said Putin’s visit had been in the news for the past two years but could not materialize due to several reasons, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Moscow also wants “big-ticket projects” to be announced by the Russian president.

Before Imran Khan’s departure, a Pakistani geopolitical analyst had pointed out that the visit did not come at an opportune time.

Analyst and Balochistan politician Jan Achakzai said Russia did not seek Pakistan’s support nor did the US stop Pakistan from going to Moscow. He also said that Russia is not going to give anything to Pakistan as losing India to Islamabad’s support Moscow is not an option.

The charge d’affaires of the Russian Embassy in Delhi on Wednesday asserted that Imran Khan’s visit to Moscow will not affect India-Russia relations.

Addressing an online briefing in New Delhi, he also welcomed India’s stand in the Security Council on the developments in Ukraine. (ANI)

First published:February 24, 2022, 9:18 am

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