State minister says US will not impose sanctions on Pakistan for proposed deal with Moscow
Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik Tuesday revealed a high-level delegation from Moscow will arrive in Islamabad on January 20 as the coalition government moves ahead with its plans to strike a much-anticipated deal for Russian crude oil at a discounted rate.
Malik, a day earlier, announced Russia agreed to provide crude oil as well as petrol and diesel to Pakistan at discounted rates. "Our visit to Russia turned out to be more productive than expected," he had said.
In a statement today, the state minister claimed that the US will not impose sanctions on Pakistan for the proposed deal.
Brushing aside claims of former prime minister Imran Khan about his alleged talks with Russia on oil import, Malik took credit for the proposed deal and said that the minutes of their meetings with Mosco officials can prove their claims.
Responding to a question about the financial crisis in the county, the minister said that the government is not deliberating on imposing any economic emergency. He maintained that the government recently paid $1 billion for Sukuk bonds.
He maintained that the country would not default.
On Monday, Malik said Moscow agreed to provide crude oil to Pakistan at discounted rates.
The state minister said Russia did not have liquefied natural gas (LNG). “Talks with Russia private firms are underway for the import of LNG, while we have also engaged Russia’s state LNG producers,” Malik said.
According to the state minister, significant progress has been in talks over the pipeline projects with Moscow.
Last week, The News, quoting sources, reported that Pakistan’s delegation asked for a 30-40% discount on Russian crude oil during talks in Moscow, but the Russians said they could not offer anything right now as all volumes were committed.
During talks on the gas pipeline projects, Moscow asked Pakistan to first honour its commitment to the flagship project of the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline (PSGP) to be laid down from Karachi to Lahore, Punjab.
In their response, the Pakistani team proposed to change the model of the PSGP project. The Russian side said that the model of the project under G2G (government-to-government) arrangement had already been settled, save for some clauses of the shareholding agreement, which would soon be finalised.
Talking to the journalists, Malik said the country required 1% additional energy to meet the demand.
To a question, he said the government would ensure uninterrupted gas supply to households during cooking hours. “More gas is being supplied to the domestic sector in December 2022 compared to the last year,” the minister said.
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