Pak-Russia relations By Dr Khalil-ur-Rahman

Russian Federation, a successor of the former communist super power, the Soviet Union, has never surrenderd before the might of the US. It enjoys the seat of permanent member in the United Nations Security Council. It is still symbol of resistance, though weak, against the US

The bilateral relations between Pakistan and Russia have experienced improvement particularly in post CPEC period. The re-alignment in the region of South Asia and around gets peculiar shape. Emerging scenario may pay to each country including Pakistan and Russia.
Russian Federation, a successor of the former communist super power, the Soviet Union, has never surrenderd before the might of the US. It enjoys the seat of permanent member in the United Nations Security Council. It is still symbol of resistance, though weak, against the US. This cause brought Russia and China closer to each other. Among other objectives, one objective of bilateral relations between China and Russia is to contain expanding U.S sphere of influence in nook and corner of the world.
It also provides common platform to the relations between Pakistan and Russia as currently former is not on friendly terms with the US Though some efforts have been made to improve relations between the two countries but it will take long time to maintain bilateral relations at the level of 1970s and 1980s.
The US has always placed its interest on priority in its relations with Pakistan. The Soviet Union maintained its relations with Pakistan adversely. Contrary to it, China, after border agreement in 1963, has helped Pakistan in its difficult times. Changed global geo-politico-economic and strategic order has paved the way for Pakistan, China and Russia to come closer to each other
The US has always placed its interest on priority in its relations with Pakistan. The Soviet Union maintained its relations with Pakistan adversely. Contrary to it, China, after border agreement in 1963, has helped Pakistan in its difficult times. Changed global geo-politico-economic and strategic order has paved the way for Pakistan, China and Russia to come closer to each other.
First Joint Miltary Exercises took place between Pakistan and Russia from 24th September to 10th October 2018. It was height of strategic relations between the two countries. Two weeks long exercises held in Pakistan sensitized the countries of South Asia that environment has taken new shape in the region.
These are first bilateral military exercises between Pakistan and Russia. However, both countries participated in multilateral naval exercises “AMAN 2017” held by Pakistan. China and Japan also participated in the exercises.Such military closeness may prove alert for India.
India and the Soviet Union enjoyed close cordial relations during the cold war period. Both countries signed Treaty in 1971 which set flow of arms to India. Russia also supported India in its designs to cede eastern wing of Pakistan. The relations continued in the post cold war and 9/11 period. New changes in Asian continent and on international level convinced Russia to come closer to Pakistan. It happened due to various reasons.
Firslty, the US presence in Afghanistan is threat to the interests of Russia and Pakistan. Secondly, Central Asian Republics were part of the Soviet Union. Pakistan has special attachment with the region due to Muslim legacy. Thirdly, the region of Central Asia is plenty of natural resources including oil, gas and uranium etc. Uranium is also important for Japan. The exploitation of natural resources of the region needs safe passage for transportation to rest of the world. Pakistan and Russia may not take benefit of the natural resources until the US presence and restoration of peace in Afghanistan. Thus, both have common cause to make efforts for the solution of Afghanistan imbroglio.
Fourthly, closeness between Russia and China has also brought Pakistan closer to Russia. Fifhtly, CPEC initiative launched by China has convinced Russia that it may not afford to remain alien to it. Pakistan is nucleus of CPEC, thus, cordial relations with Pakistan will be in the interest of Russia. Sixthly, Pakistan is in search of new friends. Russia also needs friends to extend its reach to different areas of the globe.
Seventhly, both countries are situated in Asia continent which carries important maritime locations of Strait of Hormuz and Strait of Malacca. The oil travels to the Western countries from the Middle East through the straits and maritime links located in Asia. In order to protect the collective interests of the continent, Pakistan and Russia have important role to play. Lastly, the Soviet Union desired to have access to warm waters through the Gwadar seaport. It is main source of transportation of CPEC. Russia has found opportunity to respond the Corridor positively to serve its interests.
Cordial relations between the two countries may not change nature of bilateral relations between Russia and India. However, as done in the cold war period, Russia may not blindly support India against Pakistan.
 
Source : https://dailytimes.com.pk/312928/pak-russia-relations/?fbclid=IwAR1j2Dc6BCPH1x1JcFUyi2Dei7bK9gndJlJ3n3ITA3VEIoOu6EOYetMB72c

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