Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov vowed that his country will supply the armed forces of Pakistan with a number of unspecified weapons in an effort to boost ties in countering terrorism.
He made his remarks on Wednesday during a two-day state visit to the country in a bid to strengthen diplomatic relations and increase Russia’s reputation in the region.
Aside from providing weaponry, the country said it will begin joint exercises with Pakistan to toughen its military presence at sea and in the mountains.
“We have confirmed that we stand ready to strengthen the anti-terrorist potential of Pakistan, including by supplying Pakistan with special military equipment,” Lavrov remarked, without providing details on the equipment. “This serves the interests of all states of the region.”
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian government said it will provide more doses of Sputnik-V vaccine to Pakistan, and it will look into the possibility of setting up a vaccine plant in the country.
“We have supplied to Pakistan 50,000 doses of the vaccine, and soon we will add 150,000 more doses. Vaccine production is up and running in India, in Korea, Belarus, so these vaccines can be supplied to Pakistan,” the foreign minister explained.
Meanwhile, Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia program at the US Wilson Center, believes that Lavrov’s visit marks a warming relationship between the two allies.
“There’s a good reason why this is the first Russian foreign minister’s visit to Islamabad for nearly a decade: Russia-Pakistan relations are on the ascent,” he said.