Imran Khan’s visit to Moscow on the day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a sheer coincidence, says Russia’s Ambassador to Pakistan

Islamabad: Imran Khan’s controversial visit to Moscow on the day Russia invaded Ukraine was just a sheer coincidence, Russia’s Ambassador to Pakistan Danila Ganich has said, commenting that if he had known it, the then Pakistani Prime Minister “would never have visited the country that day.”
Khan met President Putin in the Kremlin on February 24, the day the Russian leader ordered a special military operation against neighbouring Ukraine.
By visiting Moscow, he had also become the first Pakistani premier since Nawaz Sharif to visit Russia in 23 years.
Khan has claimed that his visit to Moscow, despite the US attempts to dissuade him, further soured Islamabad’s relations with Washington, which resulted in him getting ousted from power in April this year through a no-confidence vote in Parliament.
It was just a sheer coincidence. If Imran Khan had known, he would never have visited the country that day, Ganich said in an interview with Aaj News on Sunday, while replying to a question regarding Khan’s claims that his visit to Russia was the reason behind his ouster.
The Ambassador conceded that Khan was basically an honest man who wishes well for his country.
When asked whether Russia had offered Khan’s regime wheat and oil at discounted rates, Ganich said: It’s something that I cannot comment on.
Khan had repeatedly claimed that Russia had agreed to sell wheat and oil at an attractive 30 per cent discount to Pakistan due to the efforts of his government.
We had signed an agreement with Russia to buy cheap oil and wheat, he recently told a rally in Charsadda, situated in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
But Ganich said Russia and Pakistan did not sign any such agreement.
I can confirm that we did not conclude any memorandum of understanding (MoU), the Ambassador said during the interview.
As for what kind of discounts could have been offered [on oil and wheat], I cannot comment on this, as these are confidential negotiations, he asserted.
Khan, the 69-year-old cricketer-turned-politician, has been adamant that he was ousted from power two months ago through an alleged US-backed vote of no-confidence since Washington did not like his Russia policy.
These claims were strongly refuted by the US.

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