The Prime Minister was talking to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov who called on him in IslamabadPrime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has said that there is consensus in Pakistan that relations with Russian Federation should be further strengthened. He was talking to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov who called on him in Islamabad on Thursday. The Prime Minister said that Russia is very important because of its linkages with Europe and Asia. He said that Pakistan and Russia have convergence on many regional and international issues including Afghanistan‚ Syria and the security council as well as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Raja Pervez Ashraf said that Pakistan seeks to increase economic relations and benefit from the expertise of Russian Federation‚ especially in the energy sector. He said Pakistan also seeks Russian Federation cooperation in expansion of Pakistan Steel Mills. The Prime Minister assured the Russian Foreign Minister that his government would extend all possible assistance to the Russian Federation in securing contracts in Pakistan and their execution. The Russian Foreign Minister conveyed the best wishes of President Vladimir Putin for President Asif Ali Zardari. The Russian Foreign Minister said that the inter-governmental commission between the two countries has been working to promote economic cooperation between the two countries.