Pakistan and Russia held their first-ever consultation on regional issues on Wednesday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Islamabad, the Foreign Office (FO) Spokesman Nafees Zakaria said in a statement.

The delegation from Moscow was led by Alexander V. Sternik, Third CIS Department head at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whereas the Pakistani side was led by MOFA Director-General (West Asia) Ahmad Hussain Dayo.

During the consultations, a wide range of regional issues as well as key areas of mutual interest, including economic cooperation and connectivity, were discussed.

The two sides also exchanged views on important global and regional developments.

The next round of consultations will be convened in Moscow in 2017, the FO spokesman said.

Reports circulating earlier this month claimed that the Russian spy chief had made a visit to Pakistan in order to inspect the Gwadar port.

The reports alleged that Pakistan had formally authorised Russia to join the $46bn China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) after the head of Russian intelligence requested to join the project.

Last week, the Russian foreign ministry rubbished the reports about 'secret negotiations' between the two countries regarding cooperation on the CPEC.

"The Pakistani media reports about secret negotiations between Russia and Pakistan on the implementation of projects as part of the CPEC are not true to the facts," Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation had said in a press release.

In September, Russian troops arrived in Pakistan for the first ever joint Pak-Russian military exercise. Around 200 military personnel of both countries participated in the drills

Relations between the two countries have been growing stronger since the Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu visited Pakistan in 2014. The two countries signed a bilateral defence cooperation agreement aimed at strengthening military-to-military relations.

Last year, a landmark defence deal that included the sale of four Mi-35 ‘Hind E’ attack helicopters to Pakistan.

The Mi-35 helicopter is an exceedingly modernised version of the Mi-24 (Hind) combat helicopter with new onboard equipment and avionics. It also has a more powerful engine and a different tail rotor.

Opinion

Editorial

By-election trends
Updated 23 Apr, 2024

By-election trends

Unless the culture of violence and rigging is rooted out, the credibility of the electoral process in Pakistan will continue to remain under a cloud.
Privatising PIA
23 Apr, 2024

Privatising PIA

FINANCE Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb’s reaffirmation that the process of disinvestment of the loss-making national...
Suffering in captivity
23 Apr, 2024

Suffering in captivity

YET another animal — a lioness — is critically ill at the Karachi Zoo. The feline, emaciated and barely able to...
Not without reform
Updated 22 Apr, 2024

Not without reform

The problem with us is that our ruling elite is still trying to find a way around the tough reforms that will hit their privileges.
Raisi’s visit
22 Apr, 2024

Raisi’s visit

IRANIAN President Ebrahim Raisi, who begins his three-day trip to Pakistan today, will be visiting the country ...
Janus-faced
22 Apr, 2024

Janus-faced

THE US has done it again. While officially insisting it is committed to a peaceful resolution to the...