pakistan
Tuesday Feb 22 2022
By
Reuters
|
Web Desk

Pakistan ambassador meets senior Ukraine official ahead of PM Imran's Russia visit

By
Reuters
|
Web Desk
Pakistans Ambassador, retired Major General Noel Israel Khokhar, met with Ukraines First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzheppar. Photo: Twitter/@EmineDzheppar
Pakistan's Ambassador, retired Major General Noel Israel Khokhar, met with Ukraine's First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzheppar. Photo: Twitter/@EmineDzheppar

Pakistan reaffirmed support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity on Monday ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan's impending visit to Moscow tomorrow (Wednesday), said Ukraine's First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzheppar in a tweet.

Pakistan's Ambassador, retired Major General Noel Israel Khokhar, met with Ukraine's First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzheppar and voiced support for her country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, according to a tweet by Deputy Foreign Minister Dzheppar. She expressed her gratitude to Pakistan for supporting Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

PM to visit Moscow

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan will fly to Moscow this week to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, Islamabad confirmed on Monday - the first such trip by a Pakistani leader in two decades.

The two-day visit, starting on Wednesday, was planned before the current crisis over Ukraine.

"During the Summit meeting, the two leaders will review the entire array of bilateral relations including energy cooperation," Pakistan's foreign office said in a statement, adding that Khan and Putin will also discuss issues, including the situation in Afghanistan.

Relations between Pakistan and Russia were minimal for years as Islamabad sided with the United States in the Cold War and was given Major Non-NATO Ally status by Washington after U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001.

In recent years, however, relations between the United States and Pakistan have deteriorated and there has been a thawing between Moscow and Islamabad, which has seen the planning of projects in the gas and energy fields.

Winds of change following Putin's move to recognise breakaway regions

On Monday, the Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the deployment of troops to two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine after recognising them as independent, accelerating a crisis the West fears could unleash a major war.

A Reuters witness saw tanks and other military hardware moving through the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk after Putin formally recognised the breakaway regions and ordered the deployment of Russian forces to "keep the peace".

About five tanks were seen in a column on the edge of Donetsk and two more in another part of town, a Reuters reporter said. No insignia were visible on the vehicles.

Putin's announcement drew U.S. and European condemnation and vows of new sanctions although it was unclear whether it was Putin's first major step toward a full-scale offensive in Ukraine that Western governments have warned about for weeks.