‘Very Explicit Anti-Russia Actions’: Envoy Reacts to Claims That Pakistan is Secretly Arming Ukraine

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Ukraine-Pakistan ties have gradually deepened amid the ongoing war with Russia. Islamabad started importing wheat from Kyiv earlier this year and is reportedly shipping weapons and other defence items to the war-hit nation. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had also made a day trip to Pakistan last month – the first ministerial visit from Ukraine since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries in 1993. The developments have not gone down well with Moscow, with officials stating that ‘very explicit anti-Russia actions’ could not be ignored. 

“Yes, there have been reports and information about such instances, we take this information very seriously. Such examples, if confirmed, is a very explicit anti-Russia actions that we cannot ignore. And as I said, we have watched very closely the news and the reports and take them very seriously because they influence the situation on the ground very directly and do not go contrary to the efforts aimed towards the quickest and fastest, peaceful resolution of the conflict,” said Russian Ambassador to India Denis Alipov.

Islamabad has also been building ties with Moscow in recent months and began importing discounted Russian crude oil to meet local demands earlier this year.

Pakistan – whose ailing economy is getting a $3 billion International Monetary Fund bailout – was hit hard when food prices surged after Russia’s invasion. Moscow withdrew from the Black Sea grain deal – which allowed for the export of grain from Ukrainian ports – last month. It contends that the international community had failed to ensure Russia was also able to ship its own grain and fertiliser exports under the accord due to the effects of Western sanctions.

In April this year, an ET report indicated that Islamabad was planning to ship 230 defence containers from Karachi port via two vessels. Reportedly this was not a one-off with ships transferring weapons reportedly using US and European flags and ports in Poland and Germany. The weaponry in question was believed to include tanks and rockets. 

Officials from the then Pakistan government however denied such claims. Following a meeting with Kuleba former foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto insisted that Pakistan was not supplying weapons and ammunition to Ukraine.

“We resolve to move forward in fostering cooperation and friendship between the peoples of Pakistan and Ukraine…We hope for a peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy,” he had said last month.

Source: Live Mint