Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba arrived in Islamabad today on a two-day visit to the Pakistani capital.
Pakistan has been covertly arming Ukraine with artillery and other material since last year. The visit, as I discussed earlier, is likely to involve the additional transfer of arms from Pakistan to Ukraine given Kyiv’s ammunition shortages.
Predictably, the question of arms transfers came up in Kuleba’s press conference today with his Pakistani counterpart, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. When asked about weapons transfers between the two countries, both Kuleba and Zardari issued non-denials.
The two foreign ministers denied direct, official arms transfers between the two countries. They did not, however, deny that Pakistani weapons were making their way to Ukraine through friendly third parties like the United Kingdom, as has been taking place since last year.
Zardari, reading from a prepared text, said, “Since the war began, we have not concluded any agreement for defense supplies to Ukraine.”
Kuleba couched his response in similar careful terms, stating, “I can confirm that there are no contracts or intergovernmental arrangements between Ukraine and Pakistan in this area.”
Arif Rafiq is the editor of Globely News. Rafiq has contributed commentary and analysis on global issues for publications such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the New Republic, the New York Times, and POLITICO Magazine. He has appeared on numerous broadcast outlets, including Al Jazeera English, the BBC World Service, CNN International, and National Public Radio.