Political relations between Ukraine and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
The history of bilateral relations. Relationships of Ukraine and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in political and diplomatic spheres. Main results of 25 years of bilateral collaboration.
Ukrainian-Pakistani relations began long before official recognition by Pakistan of Ukraine’s independence (on December, 31 in 1991) and establishing diplomatic relations (on March, 16 in 1992). Their history arrives at times of the former USSR, when soviet specialists, most of whom were Ukrainians, helped in 1960-70 to reconstruct key industries of national economy of Pakistan. In particular, during this period of time the metallurgical mill in Karachi was built. For now, it remains one of the biggest factories in Pakistan.
The Embassy of Pakistan in Ukraine began its activities from October, 1997 in Kyiv. The Embassy of Ukraine in Pakistan functions from January, 1998 in Islamabad.
We can describe a quarter of century of bilateral relations between Ukraine and Pakistan as a dynamic process based on traditionally high level of cooperation in political, military-technical, trade and economic, humanitarian spheres as well as on effective collaboration and mutual understanding within the framework of international organizations.
During the quarter of century, political and diplomatic dialogue between Ukraine and Pakistan became regular. In this context, one should mention meetings of Presidents of Ukraine and Pakistan within the framework of sessions of the UN General assembly (1993, 1997, 2003); negotiations of Prime Ministers of two countries within the framework of the World economic forum (Davos, in 2008); the official visit to Ukraine of Minister for foreign affairs of Pakistan (in 1994); meeting between Minister for foreign affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin and Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz within the framework of international forum (Beijing, on May, 2016).
In November, 2016 the first visit to Pakistan of Minister of defence of Ukraine took place. Within the framework of existing agreements, the political consultations at the level of deputies of ministers for foreign affairs are taking place regulary. The last round of those consultations was held on 6 of June, 2016 in Kyiv.
The principle position of Pakistan concerning the resolution of interstate conflicts, which is determined by such principles as respect for the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of states as well as resolution of disputes between them exceptionally through peaceful political means, defines the positive neutrality of Pakistan in the question of Russian aggression against Ukraine and illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
A military-technical collaboration remains one of the main pillars of the Ukrainian-Pakistani relations. The first important contracts between Pakistan and independent Ukraine were concluded in a military-technical sphere in 1996. One of them is the well-known multimillion-dollar tank contract which provided Pakistan with modern tanks, and Ukrainian enterprises with perspective long-term orders. On November, 2016 during the visit of the Ukrainian delegation in Karachi for participation at the International Defence Exhibition «Ideas-2016», the contracts worth over $600 mln have been signed.
A collaboration in military and military-technical spheres develops in different directions, especially through the training and internship of officers, technical experts and Pakistani pilots in Ukraine as well as through deliveries and joint developments of highly technological armament and equipment for the naval, air and land forces of Pakistan.
Pakistani military-industrial complex has the intention to continue a collaboration with Ukraine in development of technologies and production of military goods, in particular, in the construction and service of the main battle tank of «Al'-Khalid», which is supplied to the Pakistani army and exported in other Muslim countries. It was confirmed by signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between defence industries of Ukraine and Pakistan, which took place on 20 of February, 2017 within the framework of the International Defence Exhibition ''Idex-2017'' in Abu-Dabi.
On the current stage of development of the Ukrainian-Pakistani relations, there is an urgent need to apply the positive experience of bilateral cooperation in military-technical sphere to the civil dimentions of collaboration. For this purpose, the intensification of political and diplomatic dialogue, the expansion of the treaty and legal basis and creation of proper conditions for activation of the businesses on the markets of two countries are of paramount importance.
Lately, the processes of inter-regional and inter-sectoral collaboration are becoming more dynamic, which provide a good basis for direct contacts between the business circles of Ukraine and Pakistan.
With the purpose of intensification of bilateral ties, the Ukrainian-Pakistani Information Center was opened in November, 2009 in Karachi. It is aimed at popularization of possibilities and potential of Ukraine among general public, governmental and business circles of Pakistan. The same Centre was opened also in Islamabad. Now the evaluation of the need for opening such a centers in Lahore, Multan and Peshavar is under way.
Due to the international authority of Ukraine, Pakistan counts on Ukraine’s support of the initiatives related to the fight against terrorist threats, settlement of situation in Afghanistan, strengthening of measures of trust in South Asia.
During twenty five years of cooperation, the high level of the mutual understanding and trust between Ukraine and Pakistan in political and diplomatic sphere has been reached. Along with traditionally active development of bilateral military-technical collaboration and enormous potential of mutually beneficial cooperation in a trade and economic sphere, it provides favorable conditions to promote the further development of bilateral Ukrainian-Pakistani relations.