Under sanction for its support to Russia in Ukraine crisis, Belarus comes in aid of Pakistan reeling under the aftermath of the flood
Following Pakistan’s plea at the global level for post-flood relief, the Emergencies Ministry of Belarus on Tuesday announced that the sanction-hit nation would send humanitarian aid to Pakistan, which has been severely suffering in the aftermath of a devastating deluge.
The west, including the European Union and the United States, has sanctioned Belarus and cut several economic ties following Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. Belarus and Russia share close ties with each other, and Belarus is considered Russia’s closest ally in its conflict with Ukraine.
The unprecedented deluge in June took the lives of at least 1,700 people, leaving more than 23,000 flood survivors homeless in the south-eastern province of Sindh.
On the sidelines of the Group of 77 ministerial meeting in New York, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari urged UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to raise funds for flood-affected areas.
Responding to Pakistan’s appeal, Minsk has decided to extend humanitarian aid to Pakistan for the first time. The consignment worth Br (Belarusian Rouble) 920,000 (approximately ₹3,02,11,122) will include diesel generators, tents, bedding, gasoline pumping units, medicines and clothes, the Belarusian government has stated.
The 27.5-tonne aid will be airlifted by an Il-76 aircraft from TransAviaExport Airlines, a Belarusian Cargo Major. The aid will be distributed by local management in Pakistan.
At an offshoot meeting in Samarkand during the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in September, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko held a bilateral meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
In the meeting, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif endorsed Belarus’ move to become a full-time member of the SCO. Accompanied by the Deputy Prime Minister, five other Ministers, other high-level officials and a 23-men business delegation, Belarusian President Lukashenko paid a visit to Pakistan from October 4-6, 2016. During his state visit, Belarus and Pakistan inked 14 agreements and MoUs in the spheres of finance, trade, aviation, science & technology, vocational training and education.
In 2021, a Pakistani business delegation visited Belarus to explore trade opportunities at an international agricultural exhibition.
Pakistan imports some technical and chemical products, potash fertilizers, chemical fibres, baby food, medications, tractors, trucks and machinery parts, tires, and cellulose, along with some selected defence and security items from Belarus. On the other hand, Belarus buys rice, leather products, textiles, medical devices and sports equipment from Pakistan.