DUSHANBE: President Asif Ali Zardari and his Russian counterpart DimitryMedyedev, during the Quadrilateral Summit, agreed to further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries and to broaden the scope of existing equation with extended trade, economic, scientific and technological cooperation.
President Zardari reiterated his call to institutionalize a regular dialogue between Pakistan and Russia at the Foreign Ministers’ level with annual bilateral meetings, alternatively in Islamabad and Moscow, to sustain the upward trajectory in the relationship.
Briefing the media about the meeting, spokesperson to the president, Farhatullah Babar said that during their sixth meeting in a period of less than three years, the two presidents reviewed the progress made so far on the decisions taken during their earlier meetings.
Babar said that besides discussing need to further enhance cooperation in various areas, the two presidents also discussed the regional situation with reference to threat from militants.
Babar said that Zardari welcomed Russian interest in various important energy projects such as TAPI, oil and gas exploration, hydel power production and distribution of coal based power generation.
He said that Pakistan would welcome Russian participation in the projects of coal power generation from deposits from Sindh and the hydel power projects like Munda, Kuramtagni and Muzzaffargarh.
During the meeting, Zardari emphasized on the need to materialize full existing trade potential between the two countries saying that greater market access to each others goods and services would help to enhance the existing trade volume of about $300 million to $1 billion.
The president also reiterated his offer to his Russian counterpart for Russian Banks to open their branches in Pakistan and to consider entering in currency swap agreement.
He hoped that Pakistan’s proposal to declare Karachi and Saint Petersburg as sister cities, upon its materialization, would serve to enhance mutual cooperation and promote trade and economic activities between the two countries.