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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Advocates for Enhanced Barter Trade with Russia

Astana, July 04, 2024, The Europe Today: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday highlighted the need to address financial and banking issues to bolster barter trade with Russia, which currently stands at approximately $1 billion. This discussion took place during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Heads of States meeting.

Prime Minister Sharif reminisced about the robust barter trade between Pakistan and Russia during the 1950s to the 1970s, when Pakistan imported machinery from Russia and exported leather and other commodities. He stressed the importance of expanding bilateral cooperation across various sectors, including trade, energy, defence, and security.

In the “warm and cordial” meeting, the two leaders engaged in a wide-ranging exchange of views on bilateral relations, with a special focus on trade and economic relations, energy, and significant regional and global issues, according to a press release from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Prime Minister Sharif expressed his pleasure at meeting President Putin and recalled their previous interaction in Samarkand. He congratulated President Putin on his re-election and expressed hope that the Russian Federation would achieve further progress under his leadership.

The Prime Minister underscored the importance Pakistan attaches to its relations with Russia, expressing satisfaction with the steady growth of these relations, characterized by mutual trust and understanding. He noted that bilateral relations have been on a positive trajectory in recent years and expressed his readiness to work closely with President Putin to further strengthen bilateral ties. He acknowledged the benefits both countries could derive from President Putin’s experience and leadership. Prime Minister Sharif also thanked the Russian government for sending an oil shipment to Pakistan and expressed the desire to enhance this cooperation.

Prime Minister Sharif emphasized that Pakistan-Russian ties are not influenced by geopolitical situations, as both countries have longstanding business relations.

According to the statement, both sides agreed to convene the next meeting of Pakistan-Russia Intergovernmental Cooperation in Moscow at an early date. Prime Minister Sharif also extended an invitation to President Putin to undertake an official visit to Pakistan at his earliest convenience.

President Putin recalled their earlier interaction in Samarkand during the SCO summit, where they discussed ways to further improve bilateral relations. He noted the cordial relations between Pakistan and Russia, which have been strengthened by trade linkages. President Putin stated that both countries could enhance cooperation in energy and agriculture and expressed readiness to promote cooperation with Pakistan in food security.

Prime Minister Sharif shared details of his meeting with President Putin on his X account, posting, “Had a cordial meeting with President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation on the sidelines of the SCO meeting in Astana today. We exchanged views on bilateral cooperation in multiple areas of mutual interest. We also discussed regional and international issues.”