Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (R) speaks with Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf during the 9th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in Vientiane, on November 5, 2012. – Photo by AFP

VIENTIANE: The Russian Federation has agreed to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) approved by the Government of Pakistan regarding the expansion and modernization of Pakistan Steel Mills.

This was disclosed by Prime Minister of Russian Federation Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev when he met Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on the sidelines of 9th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit (ASEM-9) on Monday evening.

In this connection, the Russian PM signed a decree, signaling the approval of the MoU proposed by Pakistan.

Hailing this as good news for Pakistan and its relationship with the Russian Federation, PM Ashraf said that Pakistan Steel Mills is a symbol of Pak-Russia friendship and has special significance for Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) led government as it was initiated during the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

The prime minister said that Russian Federation is an important country, with which Pakistan has good relations, and it has an important role in the world. Russia being both a European and an Asian country can serve as a link between the two continents, he added.

The prime minister said that there was a convergence between Pakistan and Russia on various regional and international issues.

Referring to the recent visit of the Russian foreign minister to Pakistan, he termed it as successful, where both the countries were able to make a good progress in their relations. The inter-governmental group established for enhancing ties between the two countries will further strengthen the relations, he added.

The premier extended an invitation to his Russian counterpart to visit Pakistan and expressed the hope that frequent exchanges of delegations and government functionaries will further enhance the ties.

PM Medvedev said that relations between the two countries      have shown marked improvement in the last few years and they are in the right direction. The Russian Federation is keen to expand these ties and is ready to make investment in projects that are mutually beneficial, he added.

Medvedev said that President Asif Ali Zardari had very useful meetings with the leadership of Russian Federation, which laid the foundation of good relations between the two countries.

He expressed the confidence that in the near future both the countries would be able to identify projects which will serve as engine of progress and symbol of good relations.

Prime Mnister Ashraf appreciated the keenness of Russian Federation and its leadership in investing in Pakistan and assured that the government of Pakistan will extend all possible cooperation.

The prime minister said that time has come that we should identify a few specific projects after ascertaining their feasibility and examining them in all respects and start work on them, so that we can translate this relationship into a meaningful partnership.

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