Pakistan-Russia Current Affairs

DRUZBA 2017: Pakistan, Russia hold joint military drill

The second edition of DRUZBA 2017 (Friendship-2017), a joint military exercise between special forces of Pakistan and Russia was held in Minralney Vody, Russia. The exercise set the stage for translating political goodwill between both countries into a substantial partnership especially in the field of defence.

Key Facts

The joint exercise DRUZBA 2017 focused on counter-terrorism operations, hostage and rescue, cordon and search operation. It aimed to enhance and further strengthen military ties between two countries and share Pakistan Army’s experience in war against terrorism. It also involved experience sharing and develop coordination in carrying out practice combat tasks in a mountainous environment, including operations against illegal armed groups.

Comment

In recent years, Pakistan’s ties with Russia have moved past bitter Cold War hostilities and chill in the relations between Pakistan and US. This comes especially at time when President Donald Trump warned Pakistan for providing safe havens to terrorists which has further pushed it towards Russia and China. The first edition of the exercise was held in at the Army High Altitude School in Rattu, northern Pakistan. Russia also started selling weapons to Islamabad.

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Pakistan, Russia sign 1,100km gas pipeline agreement

Pakistan and Russia have signed a major agreement to build a 1,100-km North-South gas pipeline from Lahore to Karachi.

In this project, Russia will invest 2 billion dollars and it will be built by Russian company RT Global Resources, a subsidiary of Russian state corporation Rostec.

Key facts

  • The pipeline is expected to get completed by December 2017 and has capacity of 12.4 billion cubic metres per annum.
  • It will connect Karachi’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals with those in Lahore.
  • The pipeline project will be implemented in compliance with Build Own Operate Transfer (BOOT) model.
  • It will be owned and operated by the manufacturer for 25 years and after that it will be handed over to the Pakistan government.
  • The project will take cooperation between Russia and Pakistan to a new level. It will also help to develop a multi-dimensional relationship with Russia in the fields of defence, trade, energy, culture, infrastructure and other spheres.

Earlier in August 2015, Pakistan and Russia had signed a landmark defence deal for the sale of 4 Mi-35 ‘Hind E’ attack helicopters to Pakistan. Currently, both nations are in talks for the delivery of Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets which in turn will take cooperation between the two Cold War-era adversaries to a new level.

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