13 June | 2024

Lahore, Pakistan

Russian envoy suggests ‘independent’ payment mode with Pakistan to ‘bolster’ trade

Russian Ambassador to Pakistan Danila Ganich has suggested an independent mode of payment between Pakistan and Russia in an attempt to bolster trade activities, which presently is around $700 million.

Addressing a seminar – Pakistan-Russia relations and the way ahead – organized by the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI), he shed light on different topics pertaining to bilateral ties with Pakistan, regional issues and a war between Russia and Ukraine. “Our Russian society is moving towards a free market economy,” he said.

Danila Ganich says relations between Pakistan and Russia gathering momentum

About relations with Pakistan, Ambassador Danila Ganich said that there were excellent contacts at all levels and the understandings on the political, military and commerce sides were growing. He said that Pakistanis as a whole was supportive of Russia and even during the war in Afghanistan by the erstwhile Soviet Union, there were pockets of support inside Pakistan.

He particularly mentioned the Russian largesse in supporting Pakistan’s stance against Islamophobia and observed that all religions should be respected. He castigated the West for irrationally advocating ‘freedom of speech’ and that too when it entails to polarizing the society.

“We support counter-terror measures along with Pakistan, and military drills between Pakistan and Russia will continue, and an episode has been planned for next year,” he said. On the war with Ukraine, the Russian ambassador said that his country would end the war in Ukraine on its own terms, as Kyiv had no possibility to win it at any cost.

He was of the view that Pakistan-Russia relations were gathering momentum, and there was much that could be done to uplift trade and commercial activities. He made it a point to say that LGBTQ+ madness has divided the world into traditional and non-traditional societies. He opined that Russia was close to traditionalism and hence has natural affinity to Pakistan.

Ambassador Danila Ganich said Russia has a stated policy on the use of nuclear weapons, and in case of an existential threat, it will do it. He was quick to add, nonetheless, that Ukraine was no threat to its military might, and he does not see a possibility of trigger-happiness. However, he was confident that it was a matter of time, and Russia will win the war.

“I hope some common sense prevails, and both the parties soon arrive at a rapprochement.” About the recognition of Taliban government in Kabul, he said it should be a collective international decision, and observed that his government was dealing with the dispensation along with other regional states in a coordinated manner.

About grain deal, he said that Moscow was willing and committed to do its part, but said that the onus of breaking the promises was on other parties. “We are ready to resume the deal, and will see that it is implemented. But no one can coerce us into it.” He pointed out that his country was willing to supply oil to Pakistan.

“While oil supply is under sanctions, the negotiations are kept confidential and the terms are agreed by independent commercial parties.” To a question, he said that more than 80 percent of Russians were supportive of President Vladimir Putin’s policies, and the claim can be verified independently too as foreign agents and think tanks in Russia confirm it.