Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan landed in Moscow late on Wednesday on a two-day visit amid the ongoing crisis at the Ukraine-Russia border.
This comes as tension continues to escalate after Russia's recognition of eastern Ukrainian enclaves of Donetsk and Luhansk. As a response to Moscow's actions, several Western nations hit Russia with fresh sanctions for its military deployment into parts of eastern Ukraine.
Imran Khan's ill-timed visit, the first such trip by a Pakistani PM in 23 years, aims to push for the construction of a long-delayed, multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline to be built in collaboration with Russian companies.
The Pakistan Prime Minister is also scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit and discuss issues concerning economic cooperation.
Earlier, Pakistani media reports had said that Moscow and Islamabad were in talks to finalise a plan for Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit this year.
A Pakistani newspaper said Putin's visit was under discussion for the last two years but could not materialise because of several reasons, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Moscow also wants that there must be "big-ticket projects" that the Russian president would announce.
Before Imran Khan's departure, a geopolitical analyst had pointed out that the visit did not come at a suitable time.
Analyst and Balochistan politician Jan Achakzai noted that Russia didn't seek Pakistan's support, nor did the US stop Pakistan from going to Moscow. He also said that Russia is not going to give Pakistan anything because Moscow losing India for the sake of Islamabad's support is not an option.
The Charge d'Affaires of the Russian Embassy in Delhi on Wednesday stressed that Imran Khan's visit to Moscow would in no way affect relations between India and Russia.
Addressing an online briefing in New Delhi, he also welcomed India's stand at the Security Council on the ongoing developments in Ukraine.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)