Monday Jun 13, 2022
Imran Khan’s government did not sign any agreement with Russia to purchase wheat and oil at discounted rates, revealed the Russian ambassador to Pakistan.
Talking to Aaj News, Danila Ganich, Russia’s ambassador to Pakistan, put to rest speculations that Pakistan was to receive wheat and oil at reduced rates from Russia, had Imran Khan’s government remained in power.
Former prime minister Imran Khan has repeatedly claimed that Russia had agreed to sell both commodities at a 20% and 30% discount to Pakistan due to the efforts of his government.
“We had signed an agreement with Russia to buy cheap oil and wheat,” he told a political rally in Chārsadda recently.
But Ganich said that Russia and Pakistan did not sign any such agreement.
“I can confirm that we did not conclude any memorandum of understanding (MoU),” the ambassador told the channel. “As for what kind of discounts could have been offered [on oil and wheat], I cannot comment on this, as these are confidential negotiations.”
Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has also denied the inking of any deal, stating in an interview to CNN earlier this month that even though a letter was written by former minister Hammad Azhar, Russia did not respond to the letter.
Separately, Imran Khan has also said that he was “punished by the United States” for visiting Russia at a time the country had launched a military offensive against Ukraine. As a result, Khan has alleged, without evidence, that Washington had his government removed through a vote of no confidence.
When asked about the accusation, the Russian ambassador said that in his opinion the Russian visit could have been “one of the factors” for the removal of Khan’s government, but added that Pakistan’s National Security Committee has already concluded that there was no conspiracy.
“As an ambassador of a foreign country I prefer not to interfere in your internal affairs,” he told the television host, “I do know that Pakistani [authorities] concluded that there was no conspiracy. So here I would like to say period.”