Pakistan hammers nail into West’s Russia response as Putin and Khan strike new gas deal

Russia: Kuenssburg outlines impact sanctions will have on the UK

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Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow today. The pair discussed bilateral relations in a three-hour-long meeting. It comes after Russian troops poured into Ukraine earlier today and cause devastation across the country.

A number of nations, including Britain, have slapped harsh sanctions on the Kremlin.

Mr Khan is said to be ready to push for the construction of a long-delayed, multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline to be built in collaboration with Russian companies.

Pakistan’s energy ministry spokesman said: “Both countries are eager to launch the project at the earliest.”

The The 1,100 km (683 mile)-long Pakistan Stream pipeline, was initially agreed to in 2015 and was to be financed by both Moscow and Islamabad, using a Russian company to construct it.

In an interview ahead of his trip, Mr Khan had expressed concern about the situation in Ukraine and expressed his willingness to speed up the project.

Yesterday, Germany put a stop to a key Russian gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2.

The project was set to deliver fas from Russia to Germany, bypassing Ukraine and Poland.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline has been supported by Germany despite opposition from countries such as the US, UK, Poland and Ukraine.

It cost €10billion (£8.4billion), with the funding split between Russian and Western energy companies.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov reportedly also discussed important regional and global issues amid the Moscow-Kyiv crisis.

Mr Qureshi said: “Pakistan attaches special importance to bilateral relations with Russia […] relations between Pakistan and Russia have gradually strengthened.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has owed to hit Russia with a “massive” package of sanctions – designed to “hobble” Moscow’s economy – following Mr Putin’s “vast invasion” of Ukraine by land, sea and air.

In a televised address to the nation, Mr Johnson said Russia had “unleashed war in our European continent” with a “hideous and barbaric venture”.

This is a breaking story. More to follow.

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