ISLAMABAD, The Russian Ambassador to Pakistan Danila Ganich has welcomed the Pakistani decision to import oil from Russia and said this would be a broader, more wide-ranging, and more strategic deal between the two countries.
“As Russia is facing sanctions, I cannot share more details about this deal”, Russian Ambassador to Pakistan Danila Ganich told journalists in Islamabad. He said both Pakistan and Russia are enjoying excellent ties, and these relations are solid and strong and do not change with the change of governments in Pakistan.
When asked what role Russia could play to reduce tension and facilitate conflict resolution between Pakistan and India, Ambassador Danila Ganich said for this to happen, there has to be an expression of interest by both Pakistan and India. “If Pakistan and India are willing, Russia is ready to play its role”, Danila Ganich said.
However, he welcomed the decision of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to visit Goa to attend the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers conference.
“There should not be any division in such intergovernmental organisations,” he remarked. There are other forums available where political issues could be discussed.
Ambassador Danila Ganich welcomed the historic agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran and the meeting between the foreign ministers of Syria and Saudi Arabia and expressed optimism that it would have a positive impact on the region and establish durable peace.
“Russia hopes other countries will also normalise their relations with Syria”, he commented, saying Syria must be given the opportunity to rebuild its war-torn country. Ambassador Danila Ganich, when asked about the global impact of the Ukrainian war, said the global economy is affected due to this war, but Russia is not responsible. He said the global supply chain has been affected; every country would suffer, but developing countries would suffer more from this war. “The West wants a strategic surrender by Russia, but why? I do not know the basis of this demand”, Danila Ganich commented. Ambassador Danila Ganich said : If the economic power of Russia has to be seen, then it has to be kept in mind that Russia is no longer the USSR and its economy is based on the market.
When asked how the Ukrainian war could be stopped, Ambassador Danila Ganich said this question should be asked to the West; however, the Russian demand is that security guarantees be given to Russia, and our documents, which have been given to Americans and NATO, should be considered.
Responding to a question about rising Islamophobia, Ambassador Danila Ganich said Russia strongly denounces such incidents and completely stands with Pakistan and the Muslim world on this matter. “There is a huge Muslim population in Russia that is living in harmony with other religions,” Ambassador Danila Ganich remarked. Russia completely disowns and strongly condemns all Islamophobic content that has no connection with freedom of expression.
On security cooperation between Pakistan and Russia, Ambassador Danila Ganich said it’s an area where talks and cooperation are ongoing. Pakistani military officers are getting training in CT in Russia. “Both countries hold CT exercises regularly, which are meant to share each other’s experience”, the ambassador remarked.
“I want to laud Pakistan’s role and sacrifices in the war against terrorism. Pakistan lost eight thousand lives and suffered huge economic losses”, Ambassador Danila Ganich said.
“Pakistan stands like a pillar in the global war against terrorism, and this role of Pakistan should be acknowledged by everyone internationally”, Ambassador Danila Ganich remarked.
The ambassador welcomed the Chinese economic development under CPEC in Pakistan and said Russia is ready to invest in Gwadar if there is any feasible investment opportunity and strategic plan.
He called for joint efforts to counter and fight the growing threat from ISIS TTP, ETIM, and other terrorist organisations based in Afghanistan, and Afghan brothers are also requested to take action against these organisations. To a question about former PM Imran Khan’s visit to Russia, Ambassador Danila Ganich said the decision to keep the visit intact was in fact the desire of the then PM Imran Khan that the authority of Pakistan should be defended.
When asked about political developments in Pakistan, Ambassador Danila Ganich said Russia enjoys good ties with every political party in Pakistan and keeps Imran Khan in high esteem. “The political situation in Pakistan is very complex”, the ambassador remarked.
When asked about Pakistan’s economic difficulties, Ambassador Danila Ganich said the west looted Russia and is currently freezing 300 billion USD of it, which is extremely unfair by the west. He made an interesting comment about freedom of expression and the press and said there is no free media now anywhere in the world. “The western newspapers are like the USSR-time daily “Pravda” now. However, he said the media in Pakistan is much more free than in the West and the United States.