Karachi: “Ensuring peace, security and territorial integrity are some of the most important Russian foreign policy goals”. These views were expressed by Mr. Andrey Vladimirovich Demidov, Consul General of Russian Federation in Karachi.
He was speaking at a seminar on “Pakistan-Russian Relations: Potentials and Prospects”, organised by the Department of International Relations, University of Karachi on April 23, 2012. According to him, there are certain trends that have overriding importance in international relations; globalization, diplomacy, regionalism, and issues related to governance and international law.
He said that Russian foreign policy is based upon recognition of equal rights, equal security and recognition of interests of all international players. Russia, he added, fully recognizes its responsibility for maintenance of global and regional security. He further added that Russia is prepared to take joint actions with other states to find out solutions for common problems.
He was of the opinion that the countries should resolve their bilateral disputes in a peaceful manner. Responding to a question, he said that Russia can play a role in the improvement of relations between India and Pakistan if the two countries desire so. There have been efforts by both Pakistan and Russian Federation to explore the possibilities of further cooperation.
While highlighting cooperation between the two countries, he said that fields of energy, steel production, telecommunications, space technology, oil and gas are some of the areas where there is a great potential of mutual cooperation. He further mentioned the fact that there is not a single problem between our countries – Russia and Pakistan – that can divide us.
Citing the example of Pakistan Steel Mills, he said that it is one of the reflections of cooperation between Pakistan and Russia. Russia can extend its expertise to Pakistan in the fields of irrigation and transport technology. The Russian Consul General expressed his profound sympathies for the loss of lives in the Bhoja Air plane crash.
Prof. Dr. Moonis Ahmar of International Relations Department, University of Karachi and Director, Area Study Centre for Europe– said in his inaugural address that Russia is one of those countries which can immensely benefit Pakistan, economically and technologically.
Dr. Moonis emphasised the fact that the two countries should not remain hostage to the past; they should try to explore larger avenues of mutual cooperation and development. He further stated that the possibility of students exchange programs between the two countries should be encouraged which could bring the people of the two countries, particularly the younger generation closer.
He said that globalization has virtually ended the phenomenon of isolationism; Russia is far closer to Pakistan than many other countries and this thing should be successfully channelized into a rigorous process of growth and development. He stressed the fact that confrontation and rivalry can land nations in the no-man’s land of deprivation and backwardness. The program was followed by a lively question and answer session.