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Meeting with Acting Prime Minister of Pakistan Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar

October 17, 2023, Beijing

Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Acting Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar.

Taking part in the meeting from the Russian side were Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office – Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, Presidential Aide Maxim Oreshkin, Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov, Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov and Director of the Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation Dmitry Shugayev.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to meet you and talk with you.

Russia and Pakistan have traditionally enjoyed friendly partnership relations. This year, our countries marked the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations. However, our main focus is on ensuring regional security and stability.

Regarding the economy, Russia has traditionally been a supplier of food and grains. Last year, bilateral trade increased to acceptable levels overall. In just the first several months of this year, I believe, Russia has exported one million tonnes of grain to your country. We are prepared to fulfil our commitments and, notably, the prerequisites for this are in place.

Last year, we had a record-breaking harvest of 158 million tonnes of grain. This year looks promising as well, and it is clear now that it will be around 137–138 million tonnes. In other words, our export potential will be substantial, nearly the same as last year, around 50–60 million tonnes.

However, our capacity in trade and the economy goes far beyond that; the potential is much greater. Today, we will discuss this, and hear from our colleagues. I hope to hear what your colleagues have to say as well. Let us exchange opinions and ideas on what else we can do to advance our relations across all areas of interest.

Acting Prime Minister of Pakistan Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar: Thank you, Mr President, for having me. I’m really delighted, along with my team, to meet one of the most important players of our neighbourhood, which we feel Russia is.

No doubt, you did mention about the potential of Russia, which we do see and appreciate, that it’s a lot more than that. Be it in the energy sector, be it in the agricultural sector, be it in its security capacities, in its defence capabilities. There are so many areas where I personally feel that Pakistan and Russia have a convergence of interest – terrorism, for one. And the regional approach, which emanates particularly from Afghanistan and in and around the area which is traditionally more influenced by the Russian Federation, and the neighbourhood in which we reside along with China – deserves a regional and common approach other than extra-regional powers.

I think we are the first who would have the implications, so we should be the foremost to take the initiative, and take the initiative and have the coordination and cooperation in the defence area, in the intelligence area, in the counter-terrorism, and so on and so forth. And I believe our side has very constructive engagement with the Russian authorities, with the Russian Federation’s state apparatus.

I fortunately had a chance to visit Moscow, when I was a senator, and I was mesmerised by the kind of architecture, particularly the representation of the Eastern Orthodox Christianity, its churches. And I just realised that we are even more close culturally in terms of value systems. The Orthodox Christianity does represent cultural values which are very close to home – family, ethical values, which is probably not that much popular beyond this region, which has more…well, Russia has a Eurasian identity, you have a presence in Europe and a presence in Asia. But at core, at heart, we feel we are more Asians, and we feel more near you.

As far as energy is concerned, I think, we are an energy-deficient country. With a population of almost 240 million people, it is itself a huge market. And we do understand that our energy minister just attended Energy Week in Russia, with very fruitful and constructive engagement from your side and the team came with some concrete proposals, be it the supply of oil, gas. We are thinking of some creative options to explore or to do.


October 17, 2023, Beijing