Islamabad– Russia on Saturday said it “strongly” supports the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project as it was crucial for Islamabad’s economy and regional connectivity.

According to an interview to Radio Pakistan, Russian Ambassador to Pakistan Alexey Y Dedov, pointed out that CPEC is a component of China’s Silk Road and his country was also working on a similar Eurasian Economic Union.

He added that China and Russia were holding discussions to merge the two projects.

Asked about Pakistan’s North-South gas pipeline project, the Russian Ambassador said they were eager to finalise the project at the “soonest”.

The ambassador said the two countries were closely cooperating in different areas but there was a need to enhance the volume of bilateral trade.

About the MI-35 gunship helicopter deal between the two countries, he said the contract has already been signed and it was now for the officials concerned to define a time-frame for the purpose.

Replying to a question, the Russian Ambassador said his country wants Pakistan and India to resolve all issues including Jammu and Kashmir through peaceful means. (IANS)