Pakistan seeks Russia’s help to procure 5m Sputnik V doses

Qureshi tells Lavrov two countries should continue to capitalise on shared cooperation


Our Correspondent June 15, 2021
PHOTO: TWITTER/@OmarChughtai

ISLAMABAD:

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday reaffirmed that relations with Russia were a key priority of Pakistan’s foreign policy.

In a telephonic conversation with Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov, the foreign minister noted that Pakistan-Russia relations had made impressive progress over the past two decades and stressed upon continuation of this progress to capitalize on their cooperation.

Qureshi also reiterated Pakistan’s request for assistance in procuring five million doses of Sputnik V vaccine.

The foreign minister, the communiqué said, hoped that joint mechanisms such as political consultations, Pakistan-Russia IGC and various other joint working groups meetings would resume in-person once the Covid-19 situation normalises.

“The two foreign ministers stressed the importance of follow-up action on the decisions made during the recent visits to transform these into tangible outcomes. Both sides agreed to work closely for an early negotiated political settlement of the Afghan issue,” said the statement.

During the call, the two foreign ministers exchanged views on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest, according to a statement issued by the Foreign Office.

Qureshi reaffirmed that relations with Russia are a key priority of Pakistan’s foreign policy and the recent visit of Lavrov to Islamabad reflected keenness of both sides to deepen “our long-term multi-dimensional partnership”.

“Pakistan-Russia relations have made impressive progress over the past two decades and we must continue to capitalise on our cooperation,” the Foreign Office quoted Qureshi as saying.

The foreign minister further said that an important development since the Russian foreign minister’s visit was the signing of protocol on amendments to inter-governmental agreement for the development of North-South Gas Pipeline Project (Pakistan Stream) and hoped that it would pave the way for an early commencement of the project.

The two top diplomats agreed to remain in close contact, it added.

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