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Pakistan PM Imran Khan in Moscow, set to meet President Putin amidst Ukraine conflict


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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on February 24 began his engagements in Moscow by laying a wreath at ‘Tomb of the Unknown Soldier’ and is scheduled to meet Vladimir Putin, hours after the Russian President ordered a special military operation in eastern Ukraine, ignoring last-minute appeals and warnings from the West.

Mr. Khan who arrived in Russia on Feb. 23 on a two-day visit — the first by a Pakistani premier in over two decades — will hold talks with President Putin to reset the bilateral ties and expand cooperation in the energy sector.

The Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Digital Media, Dr. Arslan Khalid, has said that his visit to Russia “continues as per plan”, dismissing reports in a section of media that Mr. Khan has cut short his visit to Moscow in the wake of the latest developments.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan’s Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Hussain said that Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s visit to Moscow is proceeding and added that he will return to Pakistan as per schedule.

“Speculations about PM @ImranKhanPTI visit are misplaced. The Visit is proceeding and PM will return to Pakistan tonight as per schedule,” Mr. Hussain said in a tweet.

Prime Minister Khan visited the memorial at the Kremlin Wall and paid his respects to the soldiers. He laid a wreath at ‘Tomb of the Unknown Soldier’, a war memorial dedicated to the Soviet troops fallen during World War II, state-owned Radio Pakistan reported.

Members of the Pakistani Prime Minister’s delegation were also present on the occasion.

Mr. Khan’s visit to meet Mr. Putin and discuss issues including economic cooperation came hours after U.S. President Joe Biden and other Western Governments imposed tough economic sanctions on Russia for sending its military into parts of eastern Ukraine.

He was expected to push for the construction of a long-delayed, multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline to be built in collaboration with Russian companies, the Pakistani media reported.

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