PM Shehbaz suggests Putin to renew trade under barter system

Published July 3, 2024
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif shakes hand with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Astana, Kazakhstan on July 3.— PID
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif shakes hand with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Astana, Kazakhstan on July 3.— PID
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Astana, Kazakhstan on July 3.— PID
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Astana, Kazakhstan on July 3.— PID

In a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif called for overcoming financial and banking issues between the two countries by renewing and expanding trade under a barter system.

Speaking during their meeting on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, PM Shehbaz recalled how Pakistan and Russia used to have a bilateral trade and a barter system in the 1950s and 1960s.

“I think today is the time we can overcome financial and other banking issues by renewing our trade and expanding our trade under a barter,” PM Shehbaz told President Putin. “That will be very beneficial to Pakistan and we will able to overcome many problems.”

The premier called for enhancing bilateral trade between the two countries, noting that it was currently “touching $1 billion”.

Speaking further on the Pakistan-Russia ties, PM Shehbaz highlighted that he was “very happy” to share that the bilateral relations between the two states had been having a positive trajectory over the last many years, terming it a “matter of great comfort”.

“I would like to work with you closely to further cement our relations,” Shehbaz told Putin. “We have a whole lot to do and we can benefit from your experience.”

The prime minister stressed that the diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Russia relations were based on strength.

“Neither are our relations driven by any geopolitical contingency nor are these impacted by relations with other countries.”

PM Shehbaz also recalled his meeting with Putin in September 2022 in Uzbekistan — also on the sidelines of the SCO summit — and congratulated the Russian president on his re-election in March.

“Once again, I’d like to congratulate you on your re-election and I am sure the Russian Federation will further progress under your able leadership,” the premier said.

“I would like to thank you for this opportunity and would like to assure you on my behalf [and] on behalf of the people of Pakistan that we really want to further strengthen our relations,” Shehbaz concluded.

State-run PTV News also shared a photo of the “delegation-level talks” between the two nations, where Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, and Information Minister Attaullah Tarar could be seen present as well.

PTV News quoted Putin as saying, “The relations between Pakistan and Russia are excellent. Bilateral relations have further improved thanks to trade ties between both countries.

“We can enhance our cooperation in the power and agriculture sectors. We will also increase cooperation with Pakistan in the food security sector,” he asserted.

In another post on X, PTV News said it was agreed to soon convene a Pakistan-Russia intergovernmental cooperation meeting in Moscow.

PM Shehbaz also invited Putin to pay an official visit to Pakistan at his earliest convenience, it added.

Two-day Kazakhstan visit

Earlier today, PM Shehbaz arrived in Kazakhistan’s capital of Astana to attend twin summits of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) during his two-day official visit.

Upon his arrival at the Nur Sultan Nazarbayev International Airport, the prime minister was welcomed by his Kazakh counterpart Olzhas Bektenov, PTV News reported.

At the 24th meeting of the Council of Heads of States, the premier will “underline the importance Pakistan accords to regional connectivity and cooperation with SCO member countries”, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.

PM Shehbaz will also address the SCO Plus Summit, where he will highlight Pakistan’s position on important regional and global issues. He will hold meetings with participating leaders as well on the sidelines of the summit, Radio Pakistan added.

Separately, the prime minister is expected to meet with Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the report stated. A round of trilateral talks between Pakistan, Turkiye, and Azerbaijan is also expected to be attended by the premier, according to Radio Pakistan.

It added that PM Shehbaz will attend a dinner hosted by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in honour of the heads of SCO member states.

The prime minister departed from Tajikistan’s Dushanbe for Astana earlier today.

According to state broadcaster PTV News, Dar, other federal cabinet members and government officials are accompanying the premier.

Opinion

On writing

On writing

There is no ceremony or ritual that marks any person as a writer except the simple yet unimaginably significant act of starting to write.

Editorial

A way forward
Updated 17 Jul, 2024

A way forward

Before political leaders inflict more damage, they must give talks a chance.
Export delusions
Updated 18 Jul, 2024

Export delusions

Plummeting exports as a ratio of GDP is one of the major reasons driving the current economic slowdown and the balance-of-payments crisis.
Diversity in UK politics
17 Jul, 2024

Diversity in UK politics

THE recent UK elections have ushered in the most diverse parliament in the nation’s history. Under the leadership...
Banning PTI
Updated 16 Jul, 2024

Banning PTI

It appears that the govt and its backers within the establishment have still not realised that they are in uncharted territory.
Nato at 75
16 Jul, 2024

Nato at 75

EMERGING from the ashes of World War II, and locked in confrontation with the Soviet-led Communist bloc for over ...
Non-stop massacres
16 Jul, 2024

Non-stop massacres

Netanyahu is cunningly pretending to talk peace while mercilessly pounding Gaza. What is clear is that a return to pre-Oct 7 status quo is impossible.