Monitoring Desk: The United States has expressed its position to Pakistan over Ukraine crisis and stated that US has briefed Pakistan before the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Russia who reached Moscow late on Wednesday on a two-day visit to push for the construction of a long-delayed, multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline to be built in collaboration with Russian companies.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov welcomed the prime minister upon arrival in Moscow. He was also presented with a guard of honour.
Hours before the meeting, the United States has called on Imran Khan to ‘voice concern’ and ‘objection’ to Putin over Russian plans about Ukraine.
“We’re certainly aware of the trip. We believe it’s the responsibility of every responsible country around the world to voice concern, to voice objection to what Putin appears to have in mind for Ukraine. We’ve communicated to Pakistan our position regarding Russia’s further renewed invasion of Ukraine, and we have briefed them on our efforts to pursue diplomacy over war. We have a longstanding partnership and cooperation with Pakistan. We view our partnership with a prosperous, with a democratic Pakistan as critical to U.S. interests. And we certainly hope, when it comes to those shared interests – the aversion of a costly conflict, the aversion of a destabilizing conflict, that every country around the world would make that point clearly in unambiguous language in their engagements with the Russian Federation,” said US spokesman.
It may be mentioned that prime minister of Pakistan is meeting President Vladimir Putin and would discuss issues including economic cooperation comes hours after a number of Western nations hit Russia with new sanctions for its military deployment into parts of eastern Ukraine
In 2015, Russia and Pakistan agreed in principle to build a 1,100 km-long pipeline to deliver imported LNG from Karachi to power plants in Punjab.
The pipeline’s designed annual capacity stands at 12.4 billion cubic metres (bcm), with the possibility to be increased to 16bcm.
The cost will require investments of between $1.5bn, according to Russia, to as much as $3.5bn, estimated by Pakistan, with 26 per cent of it to be financed by Moscow and the remaining 74pc by Islamabad.
The project was to be launched in 2020, but Russia had to replace the initial participant after the company was hit by western sanctions not related to the Pakistan Stream project.
Currently the pipeline, a rare example of Russian participation without state gas company Gazprom, involves the Eurasian Pipeline Consortium, steel pipe maker TMK, which produces steel pipelines for the energy sector, and Operational Services Centre run by the Russian Energy Ministry.
Prime Minister Khan will also visit Islamic Center and historic mosque. The premier will go to the Islamic Centre and the historic mosque of Moscow as well.
Imran Khan and his delegation have received a warm welcome from the Russian government.
Business Community Meeting
The prime minister will host a meeting for the business community as well. Pakistanis living in Russia will also be at the meeting. They wish this meeting helps make the visa regime easy because conditions are a bit tough for business visas.
Ukraine has said that the Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced the start of the new wave of aggression against Ukraine, calling its partners to immediately enact a package of new sanctions against Moscow.
In a statement on Thursday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine said that the goal of the Russian offensive military operation is to destroy the Ukrainian State, to seize by force Ukrainian territory, and to establish occupational control.
The ministry said that the Russian military operation is an act of war, an attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, a brutal violation of the UN Charter and basic norms and principles of the international law.
It said that the Russian armed forces are launching attacks on peaceful Ukrainian Cities from different directions including from the territory of the temporary occupied Donbas and Crimea, as well as from the South-East region.