Islamabad: The national security advisers of Pakistan and Russia held detailed discussions primarily focused on cooperation in defence, counterterrorism, and cybersecurity domains.
Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf is leading a six-member delegation to Moscow at the invitation of his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev.
Pakistani officials held delegation-level talks with the Russian side for the first time since 2018. “The NSA level talks are yet another testament to the strength of Pakistan-Russia relations and the commitment of both sides to improve it further,” Dr Moeed Yusuf said. The two sides held “productive and successful delegation-level talks covering bilateral and regional security issues” during the two-day visit.
Cybersecurity, defence and energy
During the talks, they agreed to improve cooperation in cybersecurity, defence, counterterrorism, anti-narcotics domains. The two NSAs also discussed economic cooperation especially in the field of energy.
Islamabad and Moscow have signed a preliminary agreement to build the 1,100-km-long Pakistan Stream gas pipeline described as a “flagship strategic venture” to strengthen bilateral cooperation. The $2.5 billion project will secure the delivery of around 16 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually from the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in Karachi and Gwadar with those in Lahore. The project is expected to be completed by 2023.
Afghanistan and regional security
Yusuf and the chief of Russia’s Security Council Patrushev also discussed the situation in Afghanistan and resolved to support all efforts for lasting peace in the region.
Expressing concerns over the looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, they urged the international community for practical steps to avert the impending crisis.
The interaction came as Pakistan is focusing on developing economic ties with regional countries particularly the Central Asian states and Russia to improve regional connectivity and economic integration.