ISLAMABAD : Islamabad and Moscow agreed on Thursday to upgrade bilateral ties to the level of strategic partnership during a meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Russian Ambassador Alexey Dedov.
The two sides agreed to improve cooperation in the field of defence production. Relations between Pakistan and Russia have increased significantly during the last few years with a focus on bilateral defence ties.
Discussions were also held to improvement in bilateral trade, energy and investment, said the Foreign Office (FO).
Qureshi also praised Russian efforts to bring peace to war-torn Afghanistan. Russian has recently launched a peace initiative to bring the warring sides of Pakistan’s western neighbour to the negotiating table as instability in the country is a cause for concern for Russia as the country lies north of the Amu river in Afghanistan.
The Russian envoy assured the foreign minister of Russia’s cooperation in various sectors.
Earlier in October, the Pakistan Army and the Russian military held joint military drills in the mountains of Pakistan from October 21 to November 4.
Russia and Pakistan have been holding the ‘Friendship’ drills since 2016. In 2017, over 200 servicemen took part in the drills, which were held in the North Caucasus at an altitude of 2,300 meters above sea level.
In August, Pakistan and Russia reached a historic agreement allowing officers from the country’s armed forces to train in Russia.
The deal was concluded at the end of the inaugural meeting of Russia-Pakistan Joint Military Consultative Committee in Rawalpindi.
Pakistan and Russia have stepped up cooperation in the defence sector since 2014 when the two nations signed an agreement for boosting bilateral ties.