Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif has emphasized the need to overcome financial and other banking issues to expand barter trade between Pakistan and Russia.

In a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Astana on Wednesday, he said Pakistan has long business relations with Russia, according to a press release received here from Astana.

He recalled that Pakistan used to import lot of machinery and goods from erstwhile Soviet Russia and export textile and leather goods under barter.

The Prime Minister further said the two countries can certainly enhance trade, which is at the moment, touching one billion dollars. He also commended the Russian President for promoting cooperation in the field of energy on his request.

He said Pakistan has received a shipment of oil from Russia and there is a need to further move in this direction. As regards to bilateral relations between Pakistan and Russia, Shehbaz Sharif said these ties have been on the positive trajectory over the last many years and this is a matter of great comfort for the two countries.

He said our relations stand on our own strength as neither our relations are driven by any geopolitical contingency nor these are impacted by our ties with other countries.

The Prime Minister, on the occasion, also expressed the desire to work closely with President Vladimir Putin to further cement bilateral relations.