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Russia, Pakistan Agree To Enhance Defense Cooperation

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu salutes as he reviews the troops during a military parade marking the 69th anniversary of the victory over the Nazi Germany in the WWII on Red Square in Moscow on May 9, 2014.

Pakistan and Russia have signed a cooperation agreement between their defense ministries.

The deal was signed by Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja Asif and his visiting Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, in the garrison city of Rawalpindi on November 20.

Shoigu described the agreement as “an important step toward stronger Russian-Pakistani relations in the military field," but no details were revealed.

Asif said strong ties between Islamabad and Moscow will help promote regional stability and prosperity.

Shoigu's trip comes amid reports in the Pakistani media that Russia had given the go-ahead for the sale of Mi-35 helicopters to Islamabad, which is interested in purchasing up to 20 helicopters.

India's move toward closer relations with the United States has prompted Russia to step up its defense cooperation with Pakistan, India's archrival.

Based on reporting by Interfax and