Thursday Feb 24, 2022
US State Department spokesman Ned Price stated on Thursday that US has informed Pakistan its position on the Russia-Ukraine standoff.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan had reached Moscow at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin for a two-day visit. This is the first visit of any Pakistani premier in the last 23 years.
During a press briefing in Washington over the Russia-Ukraine standoff, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that the US government is surely aware of Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to Russia.
“We believe it's the responsibility of every responsible country around the world to voice concern, to voice objection to what Putin appears to have in mind for Ukraine,” he added.
He further stated that the US had already communicated its position to Pakistan and had discussed the issue.
“We've communicated to Pakistan our position regarding Russia's further renewed invasion of Ukraine, and we have briefed them on our efforts to pursue diplomacy in our war.”
US State Department spokesman stressed on the US-Pak relationship adding, “We have a long-standing partnership and cooperation with Pakistan.”
“We certainly hope when it comes to those shared interests, the aversion of a costly conflict, the aversion of a destabilizing conflict, that every country around the world would make that point clearly in unambiguous language, in their engagements with the Russian Federation,” he told.
On a question regarding the timing of Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to Moscow, US spokesperson Ned Price said to refrain from speculating on the PM's visit.
“You would have to ask the Pakistani government, I am not in the position to offer an assessment of his timing of the visit,” he said.
PM Imran Khan's trip to meet President Vladimir Putin and discuss issues including economic cooperation comes hours after a number of Western nations hit Russia with new sanctions for its military deployment into parts of eastern Ukraine.
During his meeting with Putin, PM Imran Khan will push for the construction of a long-delayed, multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline to be built in collaboration with Russian companies, an official told Reuters.
"Both countries are eager to launch the project at the earliest," Pakistan's energy ministry spokesman told Reuters about the Pakistan Stream gas pipeline. He confirmed that Energy Minister Hammad Azhar is accompanying Khan on the visit.
The 1,100 km (683 mile)-long pipeline, also known as the North-South gas pipeline, was initially agreed to in 2015 and was to be financed by both Moscow and Islamabad, using a Russian company to construct it.
Ahead of his visit to Moscow, the premier gave an exclusive interview with Russia Today (RT), reiterating that the last thing that Pakistan wants "is the world divided into blocs."
During the interview, the premier noted that greater cooperation between the US, China and Russia will benefit everybody much more than the conflict.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Pakistan wants to establish trading relations with all other countries to lift people out of poverty rather than becoming part of any bloc.
Underscoring the need for a peaceful solution to the Ukraine issue, PM Imran Khan reiterated that military conflicts do not solve problems.
He said: "Pakistan wants to strengthen bilateral relations with Russia," adding that he looks forward to his Moscow visit.