Islamabad: While the Imran Khan government was seen as pro-Russia, the new Pakistan government under Shehbaz Sharif seems to be gearing up to revive defence trade with Ukraine, media reports said.

According to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), since becoming independent in 1991, Ukraine has delivered arms worth around $1.6 billion to Pakistan until 2020. In the 1990s, Ukraine supplied 320 T-84UD tanks to Pakistan's military under a deal worth around $600 million. These tanks make up a significant portion of the Pakistan armoured corps' non-Chinese tank fleet.

The negotiations between the two nations were ongoing to upgrade defence ties and trade was also discussed during the visit of Pakistan's Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to Ukraine in May 2021.

Pak Army General Bajwa met with the Ukrainian Prime Minister Shmyhal Denys, and Deputy Prime Minister Uruskyi Oleh and the delegates agreed to enhance cooperation in defence production, counter-terrorism, training, and intelligence domains.

However, the Russian conflict started and halted the process.

Other than revitalizing the Pakistan-Ukraine defence trade, the fulfilment of the latest requirement by the new regime in Pakistan is likely to broaden the scope of future ties between the two countries. However, the Russian reaction to the swift changes in Pakistan's stance could become a long-term challenge for Islamabad, media experts quoted, citing Geopolitical Info.

Due to the deepening crisis in Ukraine, M/s Chemica, a Slovak company that provides supply and distribution of chemical, petrochemical raw materials, and other products has reportedly sought a supply of ammunition from Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF), a defence contractor, on behalf of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry.

Owing to the ongoing war, the agency aims to ensure early completion of the procurement.

As per the UN, more than 8,70,000 people have fled Ukraine since the war began and the number is constantly on the rise.

Several countries including the UK, the US, Canada, and the European Union have condemned Russia's military operations and imposed sanctions on Moscow.