Wednesday February 28, 2024

Sanctions on Russia: Pakistan to seek legal opinion for impact on PSGP project

March 12, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Against the backdrop of the Ukraine conflict, Pakistan has decided to seek an opinion from an international legal firm about the fate of $3 billion Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline (PSGP) project after the imposition of economic sanctions on Russia. The pipeline project is a joint venture between Pakistan with 74 per cent shares and Russia 26 per cent, a well placed official source told The News.

“So far there is a pause in talks between officials, legal and corporate experts of both the Russian and Pakistan governments on a shareholding agreement for the project,” he said. “Both sides earlier tried to finalize the shareholding agreement draft before the visit of prime minister to Moscow, but there were certain thorny issues over which both sides failed to agree.

The top leadership of both states wanted to sign the agreement during the visit. However, both Vladimir Putin, Russian President and Imran Khan Prime Minister Imran Khan renewed the commitment towards the pipeline project.”

Since, Russia went into war with Ukraine and US, EU, and UK have imposed economic sanctions on Russia and owing to which petroleum division, he said, has stopped talks on shareholding agreement and decided to first seek the legal opinion of any international firm about the impact of sanctions imposed on Russia, on PSGP project.

“Yes, we have decided to seek an opinion from an international law firm to decide as to whether sanctions allow Pakistan to advance on the project or not,” one of the top officials at the Energy Ministry confirmed to The News. He said Pakistan cannot afford to complete the PSGP project due to economic sanctions. Energy Minister Hammad Azhar, managing Director ISGS and spokesman of Petroleum Division did not respond to any of the relevant queries sent on Whatsapp.