Ambassador of Russian Federation, Danila Ganich on Wednesday wished for an independent mode of payment between Pakistan and Russia in an attempt to bolster trade activities, which presently was around $700 million. Addressing a seminar titled ‘Pakistan-Russia Relations and the Way Ahead’, organized by the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) at the forum titled, ‘Diplomatic Reflections’, the Russian Ambassador shed light on different topics pertaining to Ukraine-Russia War, Pak-Russia bilateral ties and regional issues. About bilateral relations with Pakistan, the Ambassador said that there were excellent contacts at all levels and the understandings on the political, military and commerce sides were growing. The Ambassador said that Pakistanis as a whole was supportive of Russia and even during the war in Afghanistan by the erstwhile Soviet Union, there were pockets of support inside Pakistan. He particularly mentioned the Russian largesse in supporting Pakistan’s stance against Islamophobia and observed that all religions should be respected. He castigated the West for irrationally advocating freedom of speech and that too when it entails to polarizing the society. Ganich said, “We support counter-terrorism measures along with Pakistan, as we understand that your country has paid a great price in the form of 80,000 casualties during the war on terrorism.” He said military drills between the two countries, known as ‘Friendship’, will continue, and an episode has been planned for next year. Commenting on the Ukraine-Russia War, Ambassador Ganich said that his country would end the war in Ukraine on its own terms, and added that Kyiv had no possibility to win it at any cost. He was of the view that Pakistan-Russia relations were gathering momentum, and there was much that could be done to uplift trade and commercial activities. He made it a point to say that LGBT madness has divided the world into traditional and non-traditional societies. He opined that Russia is close to traditionalism and hence has natural affinity to Pakistan. Ganich said that the possibility of using nukes in the ongoing war in Ukraine is remote, as the military strategists are saner people. However, he pointed out that Russia has a stated policy on the use of nuclear weapons, and in case of an existential threat, it will do it. He was quick to add, nonetheless, that Ukraine is no threat to its military might, and he does not see a possibility of trigger-happiness. The Russian envoy was, however, confident that “it is a matter of time, and Russia will win the war.” He said, “I hope some common sense prevails, and both the parties soon arrive at a rapprochement.” About the recognition of Taliban government in Kabul, Ganich said it should be a collective international decision, and observed that his government is dealing with the dispensation along with other regional states in a coordinated manner. To a question about ‘Grain Deal,’ he said that Moscow is willing and committed to do “its part,” but added that the onus of breaking the promises is on other parties. “We are ready to resume the deal, and will see that it is implemented. But no one can coerce us into it.” Ambassador Ganich pointed out that his country is willing to supply oil to Pakistan, and added that while it is under sanctions, the negotiations are kept confidential and the terms are agreed by independent commercial parties. To a question, he said that more than 80 percent of Russians are supportive of President Vladimir Putin’s policies, and the claim can be verified independently too as foreign agents and think tanks in Russia confirm it.