Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has accepted an invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Moscow as well as a trip to Beijing in November.
Major meetings between PM Shehbaz and the President of China and Russia on Thursday and Friday respectively demonstrate Pakistan’s efforts to maintain a delicate balance in its relations with major powers.
The transcript of the discussion between Putin and Shehbaz suggested that Russia was anxious to strengthen ties with Pakistan. At the same time, President Xi described Shehbaz as “a person of pragmatism and efficiency” during their first encounter.
Shehbaz praised Putin as well, referring to Russia as a “superpower” and its leader as a “man of words.”
Additionally, the Russian president proposed building a pipeline to deliver gas to Pakistan. Given that certain infrastructure is already there in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan, he added, “This is also possible.
According to Defense Minister Khawaja Asif, The Prime Minister’s discussions with President Putin and Xi were very productive.
He claimed that both presidents extended an invitation to Shehbaz for a visit. He said the prime minister would travel to China for the first time in November but he would not say when he would visit Moscow.