NUST-hosted Webinar To Highlight Huge Potential For Burgeoning Pak-Russia Relations

53

NUST Institute of Policy Studies (NIPS) held a high-level webinar on Pakistan-Russian relations

NUST Institute of Policy Studies (NIPS) held a high-level webinar on Pakistan-Russian relations to discuss at length the prospect of bilateral cooperation in the evolving regional and international geopolitical situations. The webinar, moderated by Brig (Retd) Amir Yaqub, Director NIPS, was arranged as part of the NIPS Lecture Series that invites notable national and international experts to speak in detail on topics of high contemporary relevance to a diverse audience of statesmen, serving and former senior defense officials, business leaders, veteran diplomats, experts, scholars, and students.
The webinar’s main speaker, Dr. Vladimir Kozin, Leading Expert, Center for Military-Political Studies, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, highlighted that current Russia-Pakistan relations were largely positive, free of disputes, dynamic, multi-domain, and had a huge potential for future expansion in cooperation, especially in economic and security domains. Keeping in view the dynamic Eurasian geopolitical context, he remarked that there was a need for greater consultations between Russia and Pakistan on major regional developments. Dr. Kozin proposed that Pakistan could consider participating in the Zapad-2023 military exercises ___ a step that, he considered, would be welcomed by Russia.
Renowned veteran diplomat and author, Ambassador (Retd) Shahid M Amin, considered that the lack of sustained economic, technological, and cultural linkages with Russia was a challenge that needed to be overcome, but the deepening of relations with Russia could not come at the expense of Pakistan’s relations with the West.

He stated significant Russian defense sales to India could prove to be a point of concern in bilateral relations between Russia and Pakistan.
Major General (Retd) Inam ul Haque stated that Pakistani policymakers needed to develop a deep understanding of Russian foreign policy establishment, including different kinds of interests groups such as the so-called Atlantic, Imperial, and the Slavophile camps. He opined that China and Afghanistan were two major points of convergence between Russia and Pakistan and that Russia’s demographic challenge could in the future lead to novel forms of cooperation between the two countries.
Dr. Atia Ali Kazmi, the Senior Policy Analyst, NIPS, pointed out that Pakistan-Russia relations were not transactional in nature, were focused both on geopolitics and geoeconomics, and were moving in the right direction at a sustainable pace. Mr. Ali Shah, Head of Research, NIPS, argued for the urgent need for an early-harvest demonstration Russian-Pakistan project, such as a joint Pak-Russian science and technology park located in Pakistan, bringing together bilateral strengths in science, technology, and innovation. In his closing remarks, Dr. Ashfaque Hasan Khan, Principal NUST School of Social Sciences & Humanities and Director-General NIPS stated that overcoming the need for the zero-sum pursuit of power in the emerging multipolar era will enable major powers like China, Russia, and the US to find greater avenues for issue-based cooperation by means of building regional coalitions of concerned countries which will not be exclusive in nature.