Russia to hold first-ever joint military exercises with Pakistan

16 April 2015

Pakistan and Russia will hold their first-ever joint military exercises as the two countries enhance defence cooperation, Pakistan's defence minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said on Wednesday.

The agreement was reached during a meeting in Moscow between Pakistan defence minister Khawaja Asif and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu.

"We agreed to enhance cooperation in both defence industry and military training," state-run Russian news agency Sputnik International quoted Asif as saying.

Military ties between the two Cold War foes date back to the 1960s and 1970s when Pakistan first imported defence equipment from the Soviet Union. In November 2014, Russia and Pakistan signed a deal on cooperation.

Asif is on an official visit to Moscow to participate in the 4th conference on international security, to be held in the Russian capital on April 16-17.

The conference will bring together defence ministers from Russia, Pakistan, Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, Argentina, Indonesia, Iran, Serbia and South Africa, as well as heads of international organisations and non-profit organisations.

The event has been organised by the Russian defence ministry to rebuild trust in the military-to-military interaction between states and discuss joint efforts to counter terrorism.

The ministers also agreed that conflicts should be resolved through diplomatic means and that use of force must be discouraged and abandoned.

They also reached a consensus that a multi-polar world would ensure peace and balance in international relations.

Russia lifted embargoes on providing defence supplies to Pakistan and currently the two sides are working on different options to increase the ties in the defence field.

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