PM to visit Moscow this month, announces FM

-Says Pakistan, Russia’s bilateral relations have changed in a positive way
-Adds the PM has been invited by Putin
-Sees the development as evidence of a positive change in relations between the two countries

By Uzma Zafar

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit Russia this month after, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Monday.
FM Qureshi said that PM Imran Khan has been invited to Moscow by Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling it “evidence” that bilateral relations between Pakistan and Russia are witnessing a positive change.
The foreign minister made the announcement about the Russian tour while giving a briefing about the prime minister’s recently concluded visit to China and its outcomes.
PM Imran Khan, accompanied by a high level delegation, had arrived in Beijing on Friday, after which he attended the opening ceremony of Beijing Winter Olympics.
“The joint statement is a visual manifestation of the success of the China tour,” FM Qureshi said while referring to the statement mutually issued by Pakistan and China over the visit.
Pakistan and China are determined for the quick completion of the second phase of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CEPC), he added.
FM Qureshi further stated that the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan will meet in Beijing towards the end of March, wherein a future strategy will be worked out. He said that the interim Afghan foreign minister will also be invited to the session.
The minister urged the international community once again to take notice of India’s “evil” intentions, for the sake of regional peace and stability.
PM Imran Khan will become the first Pakistani premier to visit Russia in 23 years after former premier Nawaz Sharif, who travelled to Moscow after the end of the Cold War. Apart from him, former presidents Parvez Musharraf and Asif Ali Zardari also got to visit the north Asian country.
According to details, Pakistan and Russia are expected to strike major deals during PM Imran Khan’s trip.
Agencies said that significant development is likely to occur in the talks for a gas pipeline project which is worth $2 billion dollars.
Moreover, the two countries will also discuss Pakistan’s geo-economic vision, land links and issues of peace and stability in Afghanistan and its humanitarian crisis during the premier’s visit.
A high-level delegation will accompany PM Imran Khan to the Russia tour, for which a schedule is being finalised.