Zardari hopes to revitalise Russia ties

Reports say the visit could yield an agreement for a $540 million loan.

Afp May 12, 2011


President Asif Ali Zardari was expected in Moscow on Wednesday for talks with Russian leaders on his first major foreign visit since the killing of Osama bin Laden by US forces.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will host Zardari for talks on Thursday at
the Kremlin where officials from the two countries were also expected to sign agreements on cooperation in agriculture, aviation and energy, said Pakistan Embassy spokesperson Raja Abdul Qayyum.

Zardari visited Kuwait at the weekend for talks with its leaders and business executives, while Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani is due to visit China next week as Pakistan looks to bolster its alliances at a time of crisis.

Zardari’s programme includes a tour of Skolkovo, a future high-tech centre outside Moscow billed as Russia’s answer to Silicon Valley and a trip to the former imperial capital Saint Petersburg.

Speaking in an interview with Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency ahead of the visit, Zardari said he hoped his talks in Russia would breathe a new life into bilateral ties.

“I expect a lot from my upcoming visit to Russia,” he was quoted as saying. “I hope that during this visit the relations between our countries will receive a new development impetus.”

The president also said ramping up economic and political ties was in the interests of both countries. “Tsarist Russia was dreaming about getting access to southern seas,” he was quoted as saying.

“Pakistan invites modern Russia to take advantage of its access to southern seas which will no doubt facilitate economic prosperity of the two countries.”

Moscow is not usually seen as an ally of Islamabad, not least because of its close ties to India.

Tensions also still linger over the Pakistani secret service’s backing of mujahedeen insurgents against Soviet forces in Afghanistan during the 1980s.

Citing a source close to the management of state conglomerate Russian Technologies, Vedomosti business daily said on Wednesday that the highlight of the Zardari visit would be a preliminary agreement to give Pakistan a $540 million loan to modernise the Soviet-built Pakistan Steel plant.

A delegation from Prominvest, a Russian Technologies subsidiary, has visited the plant and reached preliminary agreements, the source told the newspaper.

Russian Technologies could not confirm the report.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2011.

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zahid mehmood | 9 years ago | Reply pakistan should definitly see for new power centers since in international realations nothing is permanent neither foes nor friends but the national ineterest. pak-us relation has been issue specific rather than permanent engagement for the public interest. the very notion of muslin renaissance and pakistan would be epicenter of revival has jeopardized pakistan's image immensely, no doubt being muslim i hold interests of muslims very dear and as closer as my own but the fact lies that the muslim world is fractionized in fragments. every section is on the verge of safeguarding its own interests in middle of 70s half of the middle east was aligned with communist USSR and the rest half was with capitalist west and USA both served their own interest though driven by their mentors either the representetive of capitalism or cummunism.none of the parties came to help us out against indian agression and hegemonic designs of hindu fanatics that eventually resuted in ruthless amputaion of our east flank previously east pakistan now bangla desh. the whole hijadi adventurism was actually infused into pakistani emotional people by west who chanted the slogan"O God worshippers get united against Atheists" and we did so specially at the behest and active support of USA, arabs also contributed and poured their oil money into the afghan jihad. after the soviet withdrawl pakistanis were deceived by cunning american when they refused pakistan to give greater role in afghanistan and installed relatively hostile regime and abandoned pakistan in the lurch and mesh of afghanistan. mujahideen were armed and afghanistan was ungovernable due to the presence of war lords. mistrust had been observed between CIA and ISI prior to the killing of usama and this grave event further gulfed the relations between these two influential spy this point pakistan is right to revisit and re-think its engagements with USA for that even we can resort to russia. we suffered 56 billion dollars loss in form of infrastructure since we alighned with US in the so-called war on terror pakistani society in suffering from psycho-social disorders due to war and most importantly we have the right to seek new power centers to safeguard our national interests.
Tariq Javaid Malik | 9 years ago | Reply Mr.Zardari visit to Russia to revitalize relations between the two countries will go in vain.His visit at this hour will not be taken as a positive step towards revitalizing relations between the two countries. The relations with America were always based upon Distrust.The people of America are not real Americans.They migrated from different countries.The native Americans were "Apaches" who were given American Nationality in 1924. This is the time for Pakistan to stare in the eyes of America and decide a coarse of action.The death of Usma is a Drama.This was written by Mr.Obama to gain popularity in the next elections. America is intruding in internal matters of all the Muslim states.But he should understand that according to our Holy Book Quran these are Muslims who will rule the world once they unite together and understands the policy of American"s.
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