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Russian President Putin seeks closer ties with Pakistan

24 October, 2013

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MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin praised plans for new joint economic projects between Russia and Pakistan but called for closer cooperation between the two nations in fighting terrorism and the illegal drug trade.

At a ceremony to receive the credentials of 19 new ambassadors to Russia, Putin said Russia and its Asian neighbour have plans for major joint projects in the energy and metal industries. He said Russia is interested in promoting political dialogue with Pakistan, as well as boosting economic cooperation.

Russia and Pakistan have regularly worked together in the past in joint operations to combat the influx of heroin from Afghanistan, the world's leading producer of the drug, according to the UN.

About 1.5 million Russians are heroin users, according to the Federal Drug Control Service, but some observers estimate the real figure could be twice that. Putin also mentioned Russia's work with other countries whose ambassadors were represented at the ceremony, noting "good prospects" for oil and gas development in Chad, mining in Mozambique, and military and economic cooperation with Paraguay.

In a strong signal to Pakistan on the need to stamp out terror launched from its soil and to desist from attempts to re-install an unreformed Taliban in Afghanistan, India and Russia on Monday said states abetting terrorism were as guilty as terrorist organisations, Times of India reported.

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