Federal Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif. – File Photo
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Thursday said Pakistan would improve its bilateral relations with Russian Federation in all fields including trade, economic and defence.
Speaking to media representatives after attending a ceremony to mark the Day of Russia at a local hotel here, he confirmed that Pakistan was interested to buy MI-35 helicopters from Russia.
The defence minister said that Pakistan will buy “such important and useful helicopters besides some “necessary military equipment.”
Russian MI-35 military helicopter. – Photo Wikimedia commons
He said the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has adopted a foreign policy to improve its relations with all the countries, based on mutual respect and honour.
Khawaja Asif said Pakistan will further improve its ties with Russian Federation in future and there will be exchange of delegations at various levels in this regard.
Earlier, a large number of people from different walks of life including diplomats, parliamentarians and journalists attended the reception hosted by Russian ambassador Alexey Dedov.
Defence Minister Asif was the chief guest on the occasion which was also attended by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi.
National anthems of the two countries were played while a cake was cut by the chief guest and Ambassador Dedov along with some other guests.
Special Russian and Pakistani food was served to the guests on the occasion.
Earlier this week, the Russian envoy had said that there was never any ban on the sale of Russian military equipment to Pakistan.
He said, “There is ongoing cooperation with Pakistan in the field of defence and counter-terrorism and security.”
“The proposed deal on supply of MI-35 to Pakistan is still being negotiated between Russian and Pakistani defence officials, and hopefully would be finalised soon,” the ambassador said.
He said that Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz would be visiting Russia to participate in an international meeting of high-level officials responsible for security matters from June 18 to 20 and will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during the visit.
Dedov reiterated the desire of the Russian Federation to strengthen its bilateral relations with Pakistan in all spheres.