Pipeline gas supplies to Pakistan are possible, part of infrastructure in place, says Russia’s Putin
- President Putin and PM Shehbaz meet on sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation annual meeting of the Council of Heads of State
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that pipeline gas supplies to Pakistan are possible, and that part of the necessary infrastructure is already in place, Russian state-owned new agency RIA reported.
President Putin and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif met on Thursday on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation annual meeting of the Council of Heads of State (CHS) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
The PM had earlier arrived in Samarkand on a two-day visit, accompanied by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif. Uzbekistan PM Abdulla Aripov received PM Shehbaz upon his arrival at the airport.
Then, the PM visited Hazrat Khizar complex and Tomb of Islam Karimov in Samarkand.
In a tweet before his departure, the PM said that the global economic turbulence has necessitated the need for more cooperation among the SCO member countries, adding that the SCO vision represents the aspirations of 40% of the world's population.
"Pakistan reiterates its commitment to 'Shanghai Spirit'. Mutual respect and trust can be the bedrock of shared development and prosperity," he said.
The SCO has a great potential to chart a way forward at a time of deeply worrying transformation in the geo-political and geo-economic fields, PM Shehbaz said.
The SCO is made up of China, Russia, four Central Asian countries — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan — India and Pakistan. The CHS is the highest forum of the SCO, which considers and defines the organisation's strategy, prospects and priorities.
In a statement, the Foreign Office (FO) said that SCO leaders will deliberate on important global and regional issues, including climate change, food security energy security, and sustainable supply chains.
"They would also approve agreements and documents that would chart the future direction of cooperation among SCO member states," the statement read.
Since becoming a full member of SCO in 2017, Pakistan has been actively contributing towards advancing the organization’s core objectives through its participation in various SCO mechanisms, the FO said.
The PM will hold bilateral meetings with other participating leaders on the sidelines of the CHS.
The main summit day will be on Friday, but it is a meeting of the Russian and Chinese leaders on Thursday that will be the most closely watched.
For Putin, the summit is a chance to show that Russia cannot be isolated internationally, at a time when Moscow's forces are facing major battlefield setbacks in Ukraine.
For Xi -- on his first trip abroad since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic -- it is an opportunity to shore up his credentials as a global statesman ahead of a pivotal congress of the ruling Communist Party in October.
And for both leaders, the summit will be a chance to thumb their noses at the West, especially the United States, which has led the charge in imposing sanctions on Russia over Ukraine and angered Beijing with recent shows of support for Taiwan.