Is Pakistan interested to acquire the latest military hardware from Russia? Recently, Sergy Lavrov visited Islamabad where he said Russia was ready to supply special military equipment to Pakistan to boost its counter-terror capabilities.
Earlier, Pakistani media outlet the Express Tribune wrote – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on his visit to Islamabad had delivered an “important” message to the Pakistani leadership from President Vladimir Putin.
Senior Pakistani official quoted FM Lavrov as saying – “I came with a message to inform the Pakistani government that Moscow is ready for any cooperation, whatever Pakistan needs, Russia is ready for it.”
The media outlet claimed – “In other words, the Russian president has offered us a blank cheque.”
Indian media outlet the Economic Times quoting diplomatic sources countered the Blank Cheque claims and wrote – Pakistan’s claim about getting a blank cheque from Moscow is false propaganda and fake news.
ET quoted Russian officials as saying – There is no basis for blank cheque theory. Pakistan has a habit of inflating its ties with Russia. There is no attempt to threaten President Putin’s commitment to PM Modi and Moscow will not sell defense equipment to Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Indian news agency PTI reported – After promising defense equipment to Pakistan and admonishing the Indo-Pacific strategy, Moscow has reassured India by describing it as a “trusted partner” and said there were no divergences between the two nations and that it has “limited cooperation” with Pakistan based on “independent” relations.
In a press conference, the Russian embassy’s deputy chief of mission Roman Babushkin said – We are all members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and develop cooperation in various fields including regional security, fight against terrorism and to deal with other threats,” he said.
— Russia in India 🇷🇺 (@RusEmbIndia) April 14, 2021
“Russia has limited cooperation with Pakistan as compared to India. However, the fight against terrorism is our common agenda. So we also help Pakistan in providing anti-terrorism equipment and holding dedicated exercise,” he added.
Experts on the Russian affairs who wished to stay anonymous told the EurAsian Times that the global order is changing. Pakistan is slowly moving in the China-Russia block while India is shifting towards the western block. It is a role reversal from the cold war.
Russia is expanding its ties with Pakistan firstly on the behest of China and secondly as a warning to India as New Delhi cozies up with the west and forming the Asian NATO – the QUAD block.
Russia would not want to jeopardize its ties with India – the biggest importer of Russian military hardware. At the same time, Moscow wants to balance its ties with India and China and one way of keeping Beijing happy is to warm-up to Pakistan not only in the defense sector but by also investing in the CPEC project.
Russia and Pakistan have signed an amended agreement for the construction of 1,122 Kilometres high pressure Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas pipeline from Karachi (Port Qasim) to Kasur (Punjab) paving a new era of strategic relationship between the two countries #EmergingPakistan pic.twitter.com/ieTFNU1Zsk
— Emerging Pakistan (@dev9_) November 22, 2020
Earlier, as EurAsian Times reported, Pakistan has agreed to hand over the management control of a gas pipeline project to Russia through a special purpose company. The new pact would pave the way for Pakistan to hold a 74% stake in the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline (PSGP) project, with Russia having 26% ownership.