Pakistan and Ukraine intend to develop cooperation in the defence sphere. Local new agencies reported on Tuesday that this statement was made at a meeting in Karachi between Pakistani Defence Minister Rao Sikandar Iqbal and Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Volodimir Tereshchenko who arrived in Pakistan to attend the international arms and military equipment show IDEAS 2006, according to Itar-Tass.

      At the meeting the sides discussed prospects for further expansion of cooperation between the two countries. Visiting the exhibition the Ukrainian official highly praised the level of Pakistan’s military-industrial complex and equipment on display.

      International experts have noted the two countries’ active cooperation in the defence sphere. Pakistan seeks with Ukraine’s help to develop joint production of the modern heavy tank Al Halid in order to sell it to Saudi Arabia and other countries, as well as to conduct modernisation of the T-55 and T-59 tanks currently in service in Pakistan. It was earlier reported that Islamabad is interested in purchasing in Ukraine a batch of air defence missile with a range of up to 100 kilometres, laser guidance weapons and other military equipment. Observers believe that the cost of contracts in the defence sphere concluded between the two countries may reach one billion US dollars.