Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan will arrive in Moscow today.
Khan will meet with President Vladimir Putin during his two-day visit, which is the first trip to Russia by a Pakistani prime minister since 1999. Putin and Khan have recently worked to shore up relations with regional partners, as Khan met with Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month, and the Syrian Foreign Minister visited Moscow this week.
With Pakistan struggling to supply its citizens with gas during the winter, and local energy resources running low, this meeting will focus on the future of Pakistan’s gas pipeline infrastructure and the finalization of details surrounding a potential visit by Putin to Pakistan.
Expect Khan to push for and secure Russian investment in the Kazakhstan-Pakistan gas pipeline and the internal Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline to help the country meet its growing gas requirements, while avoiding the Russian-Ukrainian border crisis. In the medium-term, further energy cooperation and potential arms agreements will likely benefit both Russian trade and Pakistan’s prestige and economy. In the long-term, however, Pakistan’s reliance on Russian gas, similar to geopolitical developments in Europe, may result in a new bilateral partnership opposed to growing Indian influence in Central and South Asia.
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Scott is an Analyst at Foreign Brief and works in International Development in Washington DC. His specific interests are geopolitics, regional conflict and governance, and political and economic development, and his geographic focus is Sub-Saharan Africa.