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War

Putin spends 1st day of his Ukraine war meeting with Pakistan PM about a gas pipeline

As Russia launched a nationwide attack on Ukraine early Thursday, eliciting near-universal reactions of horror and condemnation from the international community, President Vladimir Putin proceeded with a "long-planned" visit with Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan in Moscow, The New York Times reports

"What a time I have come ... so much excitement," Khan can be heard saying in a clip as he greeted Russian officials upon his arrival in Moscow. According to Khan's office, the two leaders planned to discuss "the entire gamut of Pakistan-Russia bilateral cooperation, and exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual interest" in apparent defiance of the poor timing and optics.

According to the Times, Khan in particular "intended to push for a multibillion-dollar gas pipeline to be built by Pakistani and Russian companies." Earlier this week, Germany announced the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline between Germany and Russia would be halted over Moscow's aggression. Naturally, that "could potentially increase the importance of other outlets for Russian gas," the Times adds.

The U.S. State Department publicly expressed hope that Khan would address Russia's attack on Ukraine during his meeting with Putin, stating that every "responsible" country would object to the senseless violence.