Bilawal urges ‘diplomatic resolution’ to Ukraine war in meeting with Russian counterpart

Published January 30, 2023
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) and his Pakistan’s counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari shake hands as they hold a joint press conference following their talks in Moscow on January 30, 2023. — AFP
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) and his Pakistan’s counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari shake hands as they hold a joint press conference following their talks in Moscow on January 30, 2023. — AFP

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Monday urged a diplomatic resolution to the Ukraine conflict, highlighting the consequential “economic impact” Pakistan and other developing countries were facing due to the ongoing war.

He was addressing a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov during his visit to Moscow. Bilawal reached Russia over the weekend for a two-day official visit.

“We have a firm belief that all conflicts can be resolved peacefully and there are no obstacles which diplomacy cannot surmount. Ukraine conflict is no exception. Developing countries like Pakistan are facing negative consequences of the conflict in terms of economic impact,” the foreign minister said.

Bilawal expressed hope that the “strong tradition of diplomacy of Russia would help achieve the peaceful resolution of the conflict”.

He said Pakistan considered Russia an important player in West, South, and Central Asia, adding that the country would keep up high-level contact with the Russian Federation.

Apprising media of the meeting, FM Bilawal said their “friendly” and “detailed” discussion encompassed all aspects of bilateral relations and regional matters.

He shed light on how both countries were celebrating the 75th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations and that Pakistan desired to strengthen its cooperation with Russia in the fields of trade, security, defence, counter-terrorism, education, and people-to-people contacts.

Bilawal spoke about the summit-level meeting between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Samarkand as well as the 8th Inter-Government Commission held in Islamabad which focused on trade, economy, and energy cooperation.

“We also discussed bilateral cooperation at multilateral fora including the United Nations and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO),” he said. “Pakistan and Russia had good cooperation on Afghanistan and wanted to achieve common goals of peace and stability in the war-torn country.”

Replying to a question on Pak-Russia energy cooperation, FM Bilawal said the incumbent government was committed to coping with the country’s energy needs.

Earlier this month, Pakistan and Russia decided to address all technical issues — insurance, transportation, and payment mechanism — to sign an agreement by late March this year for the supply of Russian oil and other petroleum products at discounted rates.

According to Reuters, Pakistan will pay for energy purchases from Russia — when they start in late March — in “currencies of friendly countries”, a top Russian energy ministry official had said.

Over the weekend, speakers at a webinar urged the government to fast-track the process of economic and energy cooperation agreements with Russia after the recently signed memorandums of understanding (MoU).

In today’s address, FM Bilawal added that Pakistan valued its cooperation with Russia, the United States, and Europe. “The country consistently called for dialogue and peaceful resolution of disputes.”

In his remarks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia was satisfied with its military cooperation with Pakistan and that both countries were holding regular military contacts including joint exercises and military training.

The Russian foreign minister also condemned the terrorist attack in the Peshawar mosque earlier in the day, calling for global cooperation for the elimination of terrorism.

Lavrov said that during the meeting they discussed building humanitarian, cultural, and educational links.

Opinion

Editorial

Unyielding onslaught
12 Jun, 2024

Unyielding onslaught

SEVEN soldiers paid the ultimate price in Lakki Marwat on Sunday when their vehicle was blown up in an IED attack,...
X diplomacy
Updated 12 Jun, 2024

X diplomacy

Both states can pursue adversarial policies, or come to the negotiating table and frankly discuss all outstanding issues, which can be tackled through dialogue.
Strange decisions
12 Jun, 2024

Strange decisions

THE ECP continues to wade deeper and deeper into controversy. Through its most recent decision, it had granted major...
Interest rate cut
Updated 11 Jun, 2024

Interest rate cut

The decision underscores SBP’s confidence that economic stability is gaining traction.
Rampant zealotry
11 Jun, 2024

Rampant zealotry

Decades of myopic policies pursued by the state have further aided the radicalisation of significant portions of the population.
Cricket breakdown
11 Jun, 2024

Cricket breakdown

THERE was a feeling that Pakistan had finally turned the corner in their T20 World Cup campaign. Sadly, it was only ...