Islamabad - Russia on Tuesday offered to expand the existing bilateral military to military cooperation with Pakistan.

“Pakistan is a geo-strategically important country and Russia is keen to expand its existing bilateral military to military cooperation,” said Commander Russian Federation Ground Forces Colonel Gen Oleg Salyukov during a meeting with Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa at Kremlin Palace, said a press release issued by ISPR

The army chief is on an official visit to Russia to further enhance bilateral military to military cooperation.

Gen Oleg Salyukov acknowledged Pakistan Army's achievements in the fight against terrorism and contributions for regional peace and stability.

Gen Bajwa also expressed the desire to enhance bilateral military engagements. The army chief said that Russia has recently played a positive role to help resolve complex situations in the region.

He said that Pakistan will continue to play its part to keep conflicts away from the region.  

The visit of the army chief was the latest in a series of high-level exchanges between the former cold war rivals

In February, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif visited Moscow to garner Russia’s support after US President Donald Trump pressured Pakistan to do more on terror.  The defence minister also visited Moscow later. And more recently National Security Adviser Lt-Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua travelled to Russia.

The flurry of visits suggested a new push by Pakistan to diversify its foreign policy options after the US expanded its cooperation and strategic ties with India.

Relations between Pakistan and Russia have seen an unprecedented improvement during last few years. The two countries, which remained bitter cold-war rivals, have been recalibrating their ties against the backdrop of realignments.