Putin refuses to visit Pakistan

MOSCOW: Blowing Pakistan’s expectations of making Russia a key ally in times to come, Russian President Vladimir Putin has rejected an invitation to visit Pakistan for the inauguration of the North-South Pipeline Project with Moscow. The reason cited was “not enough substance in this trip”.

Declining the invitation implies that Pakistan’s hopes of a close alliance with Russia will have to wait a while.

The recent bonhomie between both sides has not lasted long, despite Pakistan’s plans to buy armament, including aircraft from Russia, signing a number of bilateral agreements, setting up of the high-level consultative mechanism between Islamabad and Moscow, strategic dialogue between their respective Foreign Ministers and a Joint Working Group on counter terrorism, etc.

The high-level visits were being projected as evidence of the new level of friendship and enhanced engagement between the two countries.

The assumption that Moscow was actively developing ties with Islamabad, particularly in trade and counter terrorism, seems to have belied general expectations.

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