Global security reports and news round up.
Pakistan and Russia have entered into a momentous contract that will see the Asian country open its borders to Russian military training of Pakistan army officers. The rare deal comes amid deteriorating relations between Islamabad and the United States, which has resulted in the halt of all military exchange programs with Pakistan and left a void that Moscow has stepped in to fill.
The Islamabad-Moscow security partnership has strengthened and lengthened since late 2014 when the two former adversaries signed their defense cooperation agreement. Russia sold four Mi-35M combat helicopters to Pakistan under the pact, and both countries have since held two rounds of counterterrorism military drills on each other’s soil.
The improved and heightened relations between Islamabad and Moscow as a result of gradual deteriorating in US-Pakistan relations since President Trump’s assumption of power. The Trump administration has blamed Pakistan harboring terrorists and not doing enough to stop insurgent attacks in neighboring Afghanistan. Also, Trump suspended all military assistance to Pakistan in January until it takes decisive action against militants on its soil. The accusations have put a strain on the relations between the two nations prompting Pakistan to seek other bilateral and mutually beneficial alliances away from America.
Moreover, the Russian-Pakistani relations have further been deepened by the acknowledgment of the looming danger posed to a new faction of ISIS in the region. Russia and Pakistan both have openly expressed concerns over the emergence of Islamic State’s Afghan branch, known as ISK-P, in “ungoverned spaces” of the war-shattered country.
Improving relations between the two countries may be viewed as an act of diplomatic opportunism by Russia who is taking advantage of the stale relations between the US and the Asian nation to sweep in and offer better cooperation and by extension a better advantage that will aid both countries in fighting terrorists. In the past year, a drastic change in the foreign policy of the US under Trump administration has continuously given Russia opportunities to take center stage in most international affairs most especially in the Middle East and the fight against global terror organizations like IS and al Qaeda.