ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik said Friday that Pakistan would begin importing crude oil from Russia in March after the conclusion of the annual inter-governmental commission held between Islamabad and Moscow.
In conversation with journalists after the meeting in the Federal Capital, the state minister said that Pakistan wants to import 35% of its total crude oil requirement from Russia.
The state minister also mentioned that currently, Moscow does not have liquefied natural gas (LNG) for Islamabad, which has not traditionally been a major importer of Russian oil and gas.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov, who is visiting the country, also said that Pakistan will pay for energy purchases from Russia, when they start in late March, in currencies of friendly countries.
The federal government last year sent officials to Russia, after which the state minister for petroleum said Russia would sell crude oil at a discounted rate.
During the talks, Islamabad and Moscow agreed that after consensus on the technical specifications was achieved, the oil and gas trade transaction will be structured in a way it has a mutual economic benefit for both countries.
The officials also agreed to strengthen energy cooperation, enhance energy trade and broaden energy infrastructure investment based on strategic and favourable commercial terms.
Both sides have agreed to work on a “Comprehensive Plan for Energy Cooperation”, which would form the foundation for future work and is to be finalised in 2023.
The Russian side was invited toward potential projects of the federal and provincial governments of Pakistan, including in public-private partnership mode and requested the Russian businessmen to explore these possibilities.
“Both sides have resolved the pending issues related to the exchange of information on certificates of origin of goods with the use of an electronic verification system and shall endeavour to finalise the above-mentioned protocols by the end of May 2023,” the joint statement issued in this regard read.
The officials agreed to nominate focal persons from both sides in order to enhance mutual cooperation and discuss issues concerning connectivity and logistics in Central and South Asia.
During the meetings held in the last three days, it was also decided that innovative ways of doing business, including barter trade, would be adopted and they also agreed to explore the option further.
“In the context of the desire of both parties to promote regional integration and Eurasian connectivity, the two sides agreed to share information towards developing and improving rail and road infrastructure,” the statement read.
The following documents were also signed during the session:
- Agreement regarding cooperation and mutual assistance in custom matters;
- Working agreement on the airworthiness of aeronautical products.
The eighth session proceeded from the discussions and decisions of the seventh IGC and carried the process forward, as well as explored additional avenues of cooperation.
Pakistan and Russia also agreed to further strengthen and enhance collaboration in the fields of trade and investment, energy, communication and transport, higher education, industry, railways, finance and banking sector, customs, agriculture, science and technology, and information technology.