Russia on Tuesday denied holding any “secret talks” with Pakistan on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
“The possibility of Russia joining this initiative is not being discussed with Islamabad,” Russian ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement. Rubbishing the Pakistani media reports, the statement said: “Secret talks between Russia and Pakistan on the CPEC do not correspond to the realities.” Pakistani media on Saturday reported that Islamabad has decided to accord approval to a request by Moscow for using the Gwadar Port for its exports. It said that Russia had shown its willingness to be part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
On the trade and economic cooperation between the two nations, the Russian foreign affairs ministry statement said: “Our trade and economic cooperation with Pakistan has its own value. We aim for its further strengthening.” Russian companies are implementing business projects in Pakistan, including the construction of North-South gas pipeline from Karachi to Lahore, on bilateral basis, the statement said. Russia will invest $2 billion in the project signed last year and the first phase of the pipeline is expected to be completed by December next year.
Russia’s foreign ministry Tuesday denied Pakistani media reports about ‘secret negotiations’ between the two countries regarding cooperation on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Reports circulating last week claimed that the Russian spy chief had made a visit to Pakistan in order to inspect the Gwadar port. The reports alleged that Pakistan had formally authorised Russia to join the $46bn CPEC after the head of Russian intelligence requested to join the project. “The Pakistani media reports about secret negotiations between Russia and Pakistan on the implementation of projects as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are not true to the facts,” said the Russian foreign ministry in a statement
Russia denied holding discussions with Pakistan on the possibility of joining the project. “Moscow is not discussing the possibility of joining this project [CPEC] with Islamabad,” the Russian foreign ministry said. “Russia-Pakistan trade and economic cooperation has its own inherent value, and we intend to strengthen it,” it said, adding, “Russian companies are implementing business projects in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, including the planned construction of the North-South gas pipeline from Karachi to Lahore, on a bilateral basis.”