ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke by phone with his Russian colleague Sergey Lavrov on Monday, emphasising the need for improved bilateral relations between the two nations. “Pakistan places a high value on its bilateral relations with Russia,” FM Qureshi stated. “After a period of time, the strengthening of these relations is great news,” he continued. According to Qureshi, Pakistan seeks to deepen multilateral cooperation with Russia, who also said that Lavrov’s recent visit to Pakistan solidified bilateral ties. “Various regional and global concerns were discussed during the Russian foreign minister’s visit,” Qureshi added. The Pakistani foreign minister told his counterpart that Islamabad attached great importance to signing the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline project, adding that both countries will soon initiate the project to enhance their cooperation in the energy sector. Qureshi said Russia’s decision to lift the rice import ban on Pakistan is a welcome decision, thanking Lavrov for facilitating Islamabad. The foreign minister reminded Lavrov that Pakistan desired the early delivery of 5mn doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.