Pakistan has approved Russia’s request to use the strategic Gwadar Port for its exports, signaling a new alignment in bilateral relations after decades’ of sour ties during the Cold War era. Following Iran and Turkmenistan, Russia has also decided to use the Gwadar Port for trade to have an access to warm water a top Pakistani official privy to the development was quoted as saying by GeoNews.Russia also wants to join the USD 46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor to reap the maximum dividends.Russia aspires to develop strategic defence ties with Pakistan.
Pakistan decided to broaden its foreign policy options after its relations with the US deteriorated following secret CIA raid in Abbottabad that killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in May 2011.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is on a two-day visit to Turkmenistan, said that he welcomed the Russia’s interest in becoming part of the CPEC and maintained that Pakistan would welcome participation of any country in the gigantic project. He told journalists that many countries wanted to join CPEC as half of the world would benefit from the project.
China and Pakistan are building the nearly 3,000-km-long economic corridor linking Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea with Muslim-majority Xinjiang province to improve connectivity between the two countries.
The move would open up a new and cheaper cargo route for transporting oil to China as well as export of Chinese goods to the Middle East and Africa.