Wednesday Nov 30, 2022
WASHINGTON: Washington has said that it has no objections to Pakistan importing Russian crude oil, saying the US does not currently have sanctions in place against Russian energy exports to other countries.
Responding to questions put forward by The News, a State Department spokesperson maintained that they were aware of reports that a Pakistani delegation was visiting Moscow to discuss the possible import of Russian crude oil.
“We recognise the pressure that governments are facing to secure affordable fuel supplies,” the department said, adding, “We have been very clear that each country will have to make its own choices, based on its own circumstances, in terms of energy imports.”
However, the spokesperson warned that Russia’s actions in Ukraine and Europe have shown that it was not a reliable supplier of energy, adding that the US continues to encourage steps to reduce long-term dependence on energy supplies from Russia.
“We continue to coordinate with allies and partners to mitigate the impact of Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine on global energy markets,” the state department said.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Pakistan may be inching closer towards striking an oil import deal with Russia as top petroleum division officials had left for Moscow to explore possibilities of buying Russian crude oil at discounted rates.
The delegation comprises State Minister for Petroleum Division Dr Musadik Malik, Captain (retd) Muhammad Mahmood, Additional Secretary (In-charge) Petroleum Division, and other senior officials.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had said that the delegation would hold talks with the Russian oil authorities to cut a potential import deal.
“We should pray that the visit is successful and the government manages to secure a deal on favourable terms and conditions," he said while speaking to the TV channel last week.
“Both sides would also deliberate futuristic cooperative areas including two gas pipelines that include the much-touted Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline (PSGP), to be laid from Karachi to Lahore and a trans-nations gasline from Russia via Kazakhstan to Pakistan,” one of the top officials of the Energy Ministry told The News.
“Pakistan would discuss on how to import crude oil from Russia, advance on stalled negotiations about the $3 billion PSGP, and a newly-proposed trans-nations gasline from Russia via Kazakhstan to Pakistan,” he explained.
“The officials of the Pakistan Embassy in Moscow would also be a part of the talks.”