PM Imran 'will be Putin’s special guest at Russia economic conference'

06:28 PM | 6 Jul, 2019
PM Imran 'will be Putin’s special guest at Russia economic conference'

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan has reportedly accepted the invitation of Russia President Vladimir Putin to attend an economic conference in Vladivostok in September.

Reports in local media say the prime minister was invited to attend as a special guest the Eastern Economic Forum, which is scheduled to be held from September 4 to September 6 in Vladivostok.

Last month, the premier and Putin met on the sidelines of the 19th Meeting of the Council of the Heads of State (CHS) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Bishkek. Reportedly, the invitation was extended by the Russian president during the SCO meeting.

In an interview to Russian news agency Sputnik in June following the SCO summit, Prime Minister Imran Khan said his government has been mulling the purchase of arms from Moscow, given the fact that the Cold War was long over.

“Previously Pakistan was tied to the US, and, as we all know, India was tied to the Soviet Union. And no longer is that situation there. First, we hope that our tension with India decreases, so we do not have to buy arms because we want to spend money on human development".

"But, yes, we are looking for arms from Russia, and I know our military is already in touch with the Russian military," Khan commented.

Regarding the prospects of Pak-Russia cooperation within the SCO, he said they look forward to having exchanges, develop more contacts and improve their trade.

"Russia is an energy-surplus country. Pakistan has shortages in energy, so we hope to talk on those areas. We already are. Apart from defence, we want to also improve our trade in other areas with Russia," the prime minister was quoted as saying.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also expected to attend the Eastern Economic Forum.