Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif meets with the President of Russia H.E. Vladimir Putin.

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ASTANA, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday met with Russian President Vladimir Putin here wherein he emphasised the expansion of bilateral trade between Pakistan and Russia.

The prime minister, in his televised opening remarks at the meeting, said the bilateral trade stood at around $1 billion which could be expanded by overcoming the financial and banking matters.

Prime Minister Shehbaz, who arrived here to attend the twin Summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organization Council of Heads of State (CHS) and SCO Plus summits, expressed his pleasure to meet the Russian leader and recalled their earlier interaction in Samarkand.

He congratulated President Putin on his re-election and expressed the hope that the Russian Federation would achieve further progress under his leadership.

The prime minister said that the bilateral relations were on a positive trajectory since last several years.

He expressed his readiness to work closely with the Russian president to further cement bilateral ties and viewed that both the countries had lot to do by benefiting from President Putin’s experience and leadership.

He thanked the Russian government for sending an oil shipment to Pakistan in the recent past and expressed the desire to move further in this regard.

He said that Pakistan-Russian ties were not driven or impacted by any geopolitical situation as both the countries had very old business relations.

He recalled the barter trade between two countries during the decades of 50s to 70s when Pakistan used to import machinery from Russia and export leather and other commodities to Russia.

In his remarks, Russian President Putin also mentioned their earlier interaction in Samarkand on the sidelines of SCO summit in which they had discussed the ways to further improve bilateral relations.

He said that Pakistan and Russia enjoyed cordial relations which had improved due to the trade linkages.

He said both countries could enhance their cooperation in energy and agriculture and expressed his readiness to promote cooperation with Pakistan in the field of food security.