It has been widely circulated recently that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project is catching the interest of many major economic players on the world stage, including France, UK and Russia, and rumours have been circulating that Russia has been in private talks with Pakistan regarding the project.
CPEC is a massive project currently under construction, and is to cost US$51 billion. The trade corridor development includes the construction of railways, pipelines and roads.
The project itself has been considered contentious already, and the news that Russia and Pakistan could be starting an unofficial alliance would be controversial, especially considering the delicate state of Indian-Pakistani relations, and could cost Russia its diplomacy with India
Russia, however, has adamantly denied any secret meetings with Pakistani officials; the Russian embassy released a statement on Tuesday November 30, 2016 that said: “Reports appearing in Pakistan's media about some 'secret talks' between Russia and Pakistan on the creation of CPEC do not correspond to the realities.
“Our trade and economic cooperation with Pakistan has its own value. We aim for its further strengthening. The implementation by Russian companies of business projects in IRP, including the construction of North-South gas pipeline from Karachi to Lahore, is implemented on bilateral basis.”
Pakistan has, perhaps coincidentally, recently approved Russia’s request for the use of Gwadar Port for its imports to Moscow, and has been vocal about its intentions to be a part of the CPEC project.