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September 28, 2018 | Iran defies America
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Pakistan moves outside US orbit toward Russia. To the ire of the US administration, Pakistan is drawing closer to Russia by the day, with China filling whatever void remains.
Last month Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Khawaja Asif, traveled to Moscow where the two countries announced plans to establish a commission on military cooperation.
This was followed by the sale of four advanced Russian helicopters to Pakistan as well as the purchase of Russian engines for the Pakistan own JF-17 fighter jets.
Pakistan says enhanced ties with Russia are to balance the United States influence in India, but India’s foreign ministry offered no comment.
The end result has been the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) led by the US, deciding place on its ‘Watchlist’ of countries with inadequate terrorist-financing controls.
The US move followed Washington’s announcement in January to suspend $2 billion in military aid to Pakistan.
“We are not divorcing that relationship (with the West). But we want to have a balance in our relationships …. we want to be closer to our friends in our region”, he said
Pakistan now looks to China, which is investing about $60 billion, for its economic growth and, is among several nations in the region being courted by Moscow.
Russia’s foreign ministry suggested that potential energy deals worth in excess of $10 billion with Pakistan are reported to have been tabled in Moscow.
This includes a perspective of gas pipeline, to be built by Russia, stretching 1,100 km from Lahore to Karachi.
The pipeline would be the biggest infrastructure deal by Russia since it built the Karachi Steel Mill in the 1970s and, there is no indication that the US sanctions on Russia will affect rising Pakistan-Russian ties.