Pakistan calls for restraint in crisis between Russia and Ukraine after visiting Moscow

Islamabad, Feb 25 Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday urged Russia and Ukraine to show restraint in resolving the crisis between the two countries, one day after the summit held in Moscow between Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, and Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Pakistan wants restraint (from all sides),” Qureshi said during a news conference in Islamabad focused on details of Khan’s visit to Moscow, the first by a Pakistani prime minister in more than two decades. In the atypical meeting, which coincided with the beginning of the Russian military operation against Ukraine, Khan conveyed to Putin Pakistan’s perspective on the situation in Ukraine, throughout a working meeting that lasted more than three hours, the Pakistani minister said. , who was also part of the delegation that traveled with the president to Moscow. “The prime minister is concerned about the situation in Ukraine and had an opportunity to convey Pakistan’s perspective at the right time and place,” he said. According to Qureshi, Pakistan, which has so far not condemned the Russian operation, wants the situation resolved through diplomacy. “Not even at this moment can diplomacy be ruled out,” said the minister, who considered it the task of all countries “to try to prevent the situation from deteriorating further through diplomacy.” The focus of the visit, he said, was focused on improving bilateral cooperation in all fields, including energy and defense, as well as discussing regional security and stability, including the situation in Afghanistan.In this meeting, in which no agreement or commitment was signed, Pakistan has shown interest in buying gas from resource-rich Russia via a cross-border pipeline through Uzbekistan and Afghanistan to Pakistan, and the two sides also discussed the long-delayed Pakistan Stream gas project, also known as the North-Afghanistan gas pipeline. South, to be built from the port city of Karachi to the eastern city of Lahore, with the participation of Russian companies.In this context, Pakistan reiterated its commitment to e forging a long-term “multidimensional” relationship with Russia, he said. The Pakistani government has justified Khan’s visit to Putin, announced this week, as an already scheduled commitment that they decided to maintain despite the escalation against Ukraine. “We thought about the pros and cons and decided to go ahead (with the visit),” the minister said today. Pakistan, which, like most South Asian countries, has avoided condemning Russia’s actions, has decided, according to Qureshi, “not to be part of any political campaign (…) that is in the interest of Pakistan it will be our priority”, he concluded. Representatives of the Russian and Pakistani governments plan to meet again on March 30 and 31 in China for a summit of Afghanistan’s neighbors, in which the humanitarian situation in this war-torn country will be discussed, according to Pakistani diplomacy. EFE aa-igr/mvg/pddp

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