Due to FM Qureshi’s interaction on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in 2019 and the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) meeting in 2020, Russian Federation’s Foreign Minister (FM) Mr Sergey Lavrov has paid an official visit to Pakistan.
The importance of Mr Lavrov’s visit to Pakistan can be gauged from the coverage it is receiving in the media of our eastern neighbour. In the past few years, engagements between Islamabad and Moscow witnessed a thaw owing to rapidly changing geostrategic realities. The two sides will be holding delegation-level talks to review the bilateral relationship.
The two FMs will share ideas on regional and international issues, as the press release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) states. The new developments in Afghanistan reveal that western influence in the region is waning. China and Russia, along with Pakistan, have emerged as the real brokers of any deal that will ensure peace and stability not only for Afghanistan but also for the whole Eurasian region. The dawn of this new era—which both China and Russia want—primarily depends on peace in Afghanistan without any foreign presence.
As the integration of Europe and Asia will change the fate of both Russia and China, Pakistan will also be affected by the newly emerging geopolitical landscape. After all, Islamabad stands to be in the centre of those rare moments in history when the political and economic axis of the world is shifting.
Given all these developments, Islamabad and Moscow need to collaborate in all regional initiatives to reap the dividends. All regional cooperative efforts can benefit immensely if Russia becomes a party to them. Therefore, Pakistan needs to sign some tangible memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with Russia regarding its participation in development and infrastructural projects such as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India (TAPI) pipeline.