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KARACHI: The Russian envoy has said that his country has already emerged as the fifth-largest economy in the world, surpassing Germany and dismissing the notion that the Ukraine war had affected the growth trajectory.

The remarks by Danila V. Ganich, Ambassador of the Russian Federation, came during an interactive session on ‘Pakistan-Russian Relations and Russia’s Role in the Evolving Global Dynamics’, which was organised by the Pakistan Council on Foreign Relations (PCFR) in Karachi on Saturday last week.

“We have a booming economy, the fifth largest in the world”, the ambassador said, referring to Russia’s GDP based on purchasing power parity.

Russia disregards losses, presses on in Ukraine’s Avdiivka

His remarks come after Russia’s Economy Ministry said it saw GDP slowing to 2.3% over the next two years from 2.8% in 2023, according to a Bloomberg report. However, the pace is not far from the growth Russia experienced before the pandemic, and likely supported by Moscow’s ability to re-route trade in the face of international sanctions as well as other factors.

Ganich said relations with Pakistan are moving at the “natural pace” and both countries are ready to cooperate.

Islamabad has recently deepened its ties when it comes to securing discounted oil from Russia, the payment of which was made in Chinese yuan, according to the former energy minister of the then-coalition government.

Ganich said Russia has a lot to offer Pakistan and wants an equal partnership in different projects.

To a question on whether Pakistan-Russia ties would be affected by reports of Islamabad exporting military equipment to Ukraine, the envoy said: “Unlike other countries, we do not discuss these things through the media.

“We clear these issues behind closed doors,” he said.

On the Palestine situation, the ambassador said Russia and Pakistan are inseparable in their demands to provide humanitarian assistance to the Gaza people. “We call ourselves [Russian and Pakistan] allies in terms of the Gaza crisis”, the top diplomat added.

Ukraine says downed 27 Russian drones overnight

To the question on political changes in Pakistan, Ganich said Russians had good cordial relations with Pakistan’s administrations, adding that Moscow did not interfere in domestic issues of any country.

When asked about the Ukraine war, he said, “One thing is absolute: we will not lose [the war].”

He said Russia wanted guarantees from world powers that Ukraine would not join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

On this occasion, Ambassador Khalilullah said Pakistan-Russia relations are based on mutual respect and trust. He sought Russian cooperation in the energy sector.

Zubair Tufail, co-chief Patron of PCFR, Ambassador Hasan Habib, and Secretary General Ahsan Mukhtar Zubairi also spoke during the event.

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