The mere possibility of a new contender for world leadership in the form of China may be in distant future, has exacerbated geopolitical realignments in the international arena. These alignments range primarily from regional to international. International politics has never been and will never be on linear progression at any given time. There always have been and will be countries dissatisfied with the dominant order. During the Cold War, the opposing world orders were structured on the ideological basis. The ideological division had sway on relations among the states in the last decade of 20th century. The ideology that will primarily drive relations among states in the 21st century is none other than economics. Pakistan and Russian Federation started rapprochement in the 21st century for establishing meaningful ties after decades of troubled relations. Pakistan and former Soviet Union – to that Russia is a successor state – were poles apart with respect to international and regional politics during the Cold War. Factors like 9/11, the economic rise of China, the American presence in Afghanistan and terrorism resulted in bringing both states together and narrowing the gaps about regional outlooks that both states followed. Though Russia welcomed American-led attack on Afghanistan, it grew wary of the prolonged presence of Western forces in the region.Pakistan and Russia moved to joint counterterrorism exercises between ground forces after conducting naval exercises for kerbing drugs trafficking. Both these exercises sent strong political tremors rather than just the dawn of era for military collaboration. Reaction from India about Pakistan-Russia counterterrorism exercises showed the hypocrisy that India attaches to regional counterterrorism collaboration. Instead of welcoming such cooperation, India showed reservations. Pak-US relations remained a strong reason when Pakistan and Russia were on opposing side, and now the same bilateral relationship has been bringing both countries together. Regional instability will enhance the areas of convergence between the two countries along with the presence of China as a positive enabler. Pakistan and Russia now seem to be having a convergence of interests when it comes to peace in Afghanistan. For Pakistan, an Afghan-led reconciliation process for enduring peace and political stability, by bringing all political forces, including Afghan Taliban, on terms with each other is the primary objective. Russia is concerned about a possibility of ISIS having ranks and safe havens in Afghanistan. The fear of fighters, who have gone from Central Asian states to fight under the banner of ISIS has made Russia to show increased interest in South Asia. The dynamics of irregular warfare onslaught by terrorist organisations test the limits of power that state actors wield. Often despite amassing massive power, states have been unable to convert power into influence when it comes to influencing negative non-state actors. America has been inhibited despite being the sole superpower in the international arena to influence Afghan Taliban for political reconciliation and accepting the US established political structure by becoming part of the system on its terms. US military establishment believes that drawdown implemented during Barack Obama’s tenure in White House hamstrung the US and Coalition Forces in Afghanistan for effectively manufacturing the strategic objective of forcing Taliban for political reconciliation by effectively defeating them on the battlefield. Donald Trump’s position on fighting ‘Islamic militancy’ and a Republican-led US Congress mean that budgetary constraints that forced drawdown/relative disengagement through force restructuring in Afghanistan will be reversed for breaking the stalemate. Though no General is ever satisfied with the availability of resources at his disposal, the grievances for the shortage of men and money will be addressed greatly for the US counter-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan theatre.For Pakistan, Russia could be an alternative other than China, for meeting its security needs through procurement of advanced weapons systems. Both Pakistan and Russia can play a productive role for regional security particularly in reference to terrorism and drugs at the platform of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Any regional connectivity initiative linking South Asia with Central Asia cannot be successful without strong Russian support. An efficient utilisation of geographic advantage by Pakistan for providing sea access to Central Asian Republics will become a reality after taking Russia on board. The possibility of Russia eventually joining China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) cannot be ruled out as growth in Russia in linked with the Chinese economy. With the rise of China as strong economic power and regional connectivity initiatives, foreign policy realignments will be the obvious consequence. Pakistan is facing energy shortage, and Russia has abundant energy resources, but no substantial groundwork has been done for structuring relations on sound economic basis. Expecting visit from highest Russian leadership without doing the necessary groundwork for commercial projects including for proposed North-South Pipeline for pumping Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from Karachi to Lahore will not be realistic. Pakistan should explore and seek Russian assistance for investment in constructing electricity lines and gas supply pipelines from Central Asian countries to Pakistan. The policy makers in Pakistan have tendency to put all eggs in one basket. Pakistan needs to play a balancing act when it comes to establishing strong long-term relations with Russia without estranging America.The writer is a Research Associate at Strategic Vision Institute, a think tank based in Islamabad.