Pakistan and Russia on Thursday signed a military cooperation agreement to deepen their defence ties and vowed to translate their relationship in “tangible” terms during the first visit of a Russian Defence Minister in 45 years.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu’s visit to Pakistan comes at a very critical juncture as U.S.-led NATO forces are drawing down from Afghanistan by the end of this year. “The signing of the Military Cooperation agreement between the two significant countries of the region is a milestone.
“Both sides will translate this relationship in tangible terms and further strengthen military-to-military relations,” said Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Asif without elaborating on the agreement.
The visit by the Russian Defence Minister comes against the backdrop of reports that Moscow had given go-ahead for the sale of MI-35 helicopters to Pakistan, which is interested in purchasing up to 20 helicopters.
The last visit took place as far back as 1969, when USSR Defence Minister Andrey Grechko made a trip to the country.