- Sep 18, 2009
Pakistan Friday gave authorisation to Russia to join the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project after Moscow’s head of security services met Pakistani officials.
Russia’s Federal Security Services chief, Alexander Bogdanov, met top Pakistani officials in what was described as a secret meeting. This was the first visit of a Russian intelligence agency’s head to Pakistan in 14 years.
Bogdanov reportedly requested to join the CPEC which was accepted by the Pakistani officials who granted Russia access to warm waters via Gwadar Sea Port.
Earlier this week, Pakistan secured an additional $8.5 billion of investment from Beijing as part of the countries' joint energy, transport and infrastructure plan.
That is on top of the $46-billion CPEC project, which focuses on road building and energy infrastructure to end chronic power shortages in Pakistan and to link China's landlocked north-west with the deep-water port Gwadar on the Arabian Sea.
"This has now all been approved, so this is an additional $8.5 billion to the $46 billion we had already, so we are now close to $55 billion," said Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal.
Trade activities formally commenced on November 13 after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif welcomed the first large shipment of Chinese goods through the renovated port of Gwadar.
The trade caravan reached Gwadar from China under the strict security cover of Pakistan Army and other security agencies.