Pakistan-Russia Relations

Pakistan and Russia (former Soviet Union) established diplomatic relations on 1 May 1948. Both the countries enjoy close, friendly and cooperative relations and bilateral relations are marked by mutual respect, trust and convergence of views on most international and regional issues. Pakistan aims to forge long-term multi-dimensional strategic partnership with the Russian Federation in the fields of trade, energy, culture, defence, security and people-to-people contacts.

2. Bilateral cooperation between the two countries dates back to the Soviet times. Karachi Steel Mills, major thermal power facilities at Muzaffargarh, Multan-II and Guddu were built by Soviet Union. Besides Soviet Union also helped Pakistan in the establishment of Oil and Gas Development Corporation Ltd. (OGDCL) and in the development of agriculture sector of Pakistan.

3. Both countries have similar stakes in durable peace and stability in their common neighbourhood and harbor shared aspirations for regional development and prosperity.

High Level Interaction:

4. The upward trajectory of bilateral relations is being maintained through sustained high-level interactions and strong institutional mechanisms. Pakistan’s accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), as a full member, has infused a new energy to our ties with the Russian Federation. Pakistan highly values the support extended by the Russian Federation during its membership process.

5. Prime Minister Imran Khan met with the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitri Medvedev on the sidelines of the ‘China International Import Expo’ on 5 November 2018. Besides, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi held bilateral meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov twice in 2018. The first meeting was held in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s 73rd Session in September 2018. FM Qureshi also held talks with Russian Foreign Minister on 26 December 2018 in Moscow.

6. 2017 was particularly important year from political point of view for both countries as significant meetings took place including bilateral meetings between the Prime Minister of Pakistan and the President of the Russian Federation in Astana on 9 June 2017 and Prime Ministers of both countries in Sochi on 30 November 2017. Both the meetings were held on the sidelines of high-level SCO meeting. Besides, there have been eight (08) visits from Pakistan at the ministerial levels including Ministers from Foreign Affairs, Defence, Water & Power, Science and Technology, Industries and Production, Defence Production, Commerce and Textile and National Health Services in 2017.

Parliamentary Level Exchanges:

7. Bilateral exchanges at Parliamentary level have also expanded in recent times. Acting Chairman Senate Saleem Mandviwalla led a five-member delegation to the «International Conference on the Role of Parliaments in the Modern World: Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation — 25 Years on the Path of Multidimensional Parliamentary Cooperation». The conference was held on 10 December 2018 in Moscow. Senator Mushaid Hussain visited Russia in October 2018 to attend the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP).

8. Besides, former Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq visited Russia in December 2017 to participate in the conference called «Parliamentarians Against Drugs». Besides, former Chairman Senate of Pakistan led a 16-memberdelegation to the 137th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in October 2017 in Saint Petersburg.

9. From the Russian side Chairman State Duma (lower house of Russian Parliament) Vyacheslav Volodin paid first ever visit to Pakistan in December 2017 to participate in the six country «Regional Conference on Challenge of Terrorism and Inter Regional Connectivity». The Chairman of the Russian ‘State Duma Committee on International Affairs’ Mr. Leonid Slutsky visited Pakistan in November 2017, during his visit he called on the Speaker National Assembly and met with the Foreign Minister of Pakistan.

Trade Cooperation:

10. Bilateral trade between two countries is increasing steadily. Pakistan’s major exports to Russian market include, cotton, textiles, leather, synthetic fabrics, rice, fruits, surgical and sports goods. Our major imports include fertilizers, chemical elements and compounds, rubber, tyres and tubes, paper and paper board, iron and steel (raw and manufactured products) and machinery,

11. Pakistan-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation is an important institutional mechanism to review whole spectrum of bilateral cooperation and chart down roadmap for future developments. The Inaugural Session of the IGC was held in Moscow on 21 September 2010. The Fifth Session of the IGC was held in Moscow from 28 to 30 November 2017

Trade Wing

12. Trade Wing of the Embassy is entrusted with the task of increasing bilateral trade between Pakistan and Russia. It stays in regular contact with the relevant Ministries and Departments of the Russian Federation, as well as of Pakistan to address the issues hindering the growth of bilateral trade.

13. It is heartening to observe that bilateral trade between both the countries is on an upward trajectory. Businessmen, importers, exporters and investors of both the countries interested in establishing business relations with their counterparts are encouraged to contact Trade Wing for any kind of information or query. Trade Wing carries out a wide range of activities for promotion of bilateral trade and investment relations between the two countries. The main functions of the Trade wing are as follows:

i. Sectorial analysis of the Russian economy;
ii. Maintenance of dialogue with relevant Russian authorities;
iii. Facilitating businessmen during their visits to Russia and vice versa;
iv. Organizing events, exhibitions, promoting Pakistani products;
v. Conducting and coordinating the visit of Russian companies for participation in exhibitions being organized in Pakistan;
vi. Assistance in business matchmaking and establishment of business contacts between respective
vii. Information sharing regarding business activities, tax regulations, investment opportunities in both countries;
viii. Identification of trade barriers and working out proposals for their elimination;
ix. Facilitating the introduction of Pakistani companies in Russian market and vice-versa.

Energy Cooperation:

14. Energy cooperation has emerged as the most prominent feature of our bilateral relations. Russia is a leader in global production of oil and gas and Pakistan is a developing country with immense energy need hence there exist great complementarities between the two economies.

15. Pakistan and Russia signed an ‘Inter-Governmental Agreement on the Construction of North-South Gas Pipeline’ (NSGP) from Karachi to Lahore in October 2015. Besides an «Inter-Governmental Agreement on Cooperation in the Sphere of Liquefied Natural Gas» (LNG) was signed between the two countries on 13 October 2017. Both sides have also signed an MoU for conducting feasibility study on offshore gas pipeline project (September 2018) and as a follow up to this MoU the Gazprom of Russia and the Inter State Gas Company Limited signed an MoU on gas pipeline feasibility study regarding gas supplies from the Middle East to South Asia on 6th February 2019. Besides, a proposal for establishment of 600 MW ‘Combined Cycle Power Plant’ (CCPP) at Jamshoro Sindh is under consideration by both sides.

Defence Cooperation:

16. Pakistan-Russia defence cooperation has steadily increased and it is marked by frequent high-level contacts between the two countries. Under the landmark ‘Defence Cooperation Agreement’ signed during the Russian Defence Minister’s visit to Pakistan in November 2014, Russia delivered four (04) Mi-35 gunship helicopters to Pakistan.

17. High level exchanges between the military leadership of both the countries are as followed:

i. Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Russia in April 2018;
Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee visited Russian Federation in August 2018 twice to participate in the closing ceremony of Army Games and Joint SCO military exercise «Peace Mission 2018»;
ii. Mr. Alexei Frolkin the Deputy Director of the Federal Service for Military — Technical Cooperation of the Russian Federation led a delegation to Pakistan for the ‘1st Session of Joint Russia-Pakistan Commission on Military Technical Cooperation’ in March 2018;
iii. Vice Chief of Naval Staff and Pakistan Navy Ship «Aslat» visited St. Petersburg in July 2018 to participate in the Naval Parade;
The Deputy Defence Minister of Russia Colonel General Alexander Fomin visited Pakistan in August 2018;
iv. Pakistan and Russia have signed an MoU on bilateral naval cooperation and training of Pakistani military personnel in Russian military institutions.

18. Pakistan-Russia joint military exercise titled «Friendship» has become a regular feature. In this regard, the third exercise was held in October 2018. Military-technical cooperation between Pakistan and Russia has also strengthened over the years. Besides, our militaries interact and participate in multilateral exercises under the aegis of the SCO. In this regard, noteworthy is Pakistan’s participation in the SCO member states’ Joint Military Anti-Terrorist Command Staff Exercise called «Peace Mission-2018» in August 2018 in Chelyabinsk, Russia.

19. Reciprocal participation of each other’s military delegations has also evolved into a regular feature of military-to-military cooperation between the two countries. Pakistan Army participated in Russia’s «Army-2018 Exhibition» in Moscow. The Russian side participated in ‘International Defence Exhibition and Seminar’ (IDEAS) in 2019. Russia participated in multinational naval exercise called «Aman-2019» and it attended the 2017 edition of the same exercise as well.

Pakistani Diaspora in Russia:

20. Number of Pakistani nationals in Russia is approximately 1200. Among them, there are students, businessmen, professionals and blue-collar workers. The Embassy keeps close contacts with the diaspora and help resolve their problems diligently.