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No Vladimir Putin’s visit to Pakistan scheduled yet: FO

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Putting all speculations and rumours about the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Pakistan any sooner to rest, the Foreign Office has said that no such visit has been scheduled yet.

Since Pakistan and Russia signed the intergovernmental agreement (IGA) to build the 1,122 kilometers North-South gas pipeline dubbed “Pakistan Stream” costing US$ 2.25 billion in May 2021, the prospects of Putin’s visit to Pakistan had brightened and the media had begun making speculation about his maiden visit.

However, the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri has now denied all such rumours.

“We have seen some media reports regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Pakistan,” the Spokesperson said in response to some media reports regarding the visit of President of the Russian Federation to Pakistan in July.

The Spokesperson said that Pakistan and Russia are close partners and friends. He said that the two sides are committed to building a strong multi-dimensional relationship that not only serves their respective national interests but also contributes to regional as well as global peace and security.

Chaudhri said that exchange of high level visits is an important part of the growing Pakistan-Russia relations.

The Foreign Office Spokesperson said that the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov paid a successful visit to Islamabad in April this year and last year Pakistan’s Foreign Minister and Defence Minister visited the Russian Federation.

“While invitations for visits at the summit level have been extended by both sides, no such visit has been scheduled yet,” he said.

The IGA to build the Pakistan Stream gas pipeline from Punjab’s Kasur area to Karachi’s Port Qasim was signed in Moscow on May 28, 2021 by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation Shafqat Mahmood and the Russian Minister for Energy Nikolai Shulginov.

“Under the revised IGA, Pakistan will be having the major shareholding with 74 percent stakes in the pipeline of 1,122 kilometers from Karachi (Port Qasim) to Kasur (Punjab). And Russia will have 26 percent equity,” a senior official from Pakistan’s Energy Ministry told media.

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