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Monday, November 27, 2023

Russia refused to supply oil to Pakistan, claims Miftah Ismail

The PML-N government had sent its diplomats to Russia for cheaper oil but Russia refused.

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has claimed that Russia refused to supply oil to Pakistan because the latter failed to fulfill the conditions of a deal based on a gas pipeline project in 2015.

While giving an interview to a private media channel, Miftah Ismail said that Pakistan did not sign the 2015 gas pipeline deal, therefore Russia does not want to sell oil to Pakistan.

“Russia did not even respond to our letter. They said we will only sell oil once the agreement is fulfilled. What should we do? Should we force them, hold them at gunpoint?” the Finance Minister said.

Read more: Hammad Azhar accuses energy minister of lying over Pak-Russia oil deal

Pertinent to mention, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail agreed that former Energy Minister Hammad Azhar wrote a letter to Russia. However, there was no response. The PML-N government again sent its diplomats to Russia for cheaper oil but Russia refused, giving the excuse of the 2015 agreement.

On the other hand, the Finance Minister reiterated that if Russia offers to sell oil and wheat to Pakistan and if there will be no Western sanctions on Pakistan for trading with Russia, then he will happily go for it.

Oil deal with Russia

Currently, PTI and the PML-N government have locked horns on a supposed oil deal with Russia. Former Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly claimed that Russia had agreed to sell oil to Pakistan at a discounted rate. Former Energy Minister Hammad Azhar even showed a letter written to Russia on the matter as evidence.

On the other hand, the incumbent government has continuously rejected that the previous government and Russia ever inked a deal for cheaper oil. What’s more, is that Russia too denied claims of a deal on cheaper oil with Pakistan during Imran Khan’s reign. Danila Ganich, Russia’s ambassador to Pakistan said the countries did not sign any Memorandum of Understanding on the matter.

“I can confirm that we did not conclude any memorandum of understanding (MoU),” the ambassador told a local 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.”

Interestingly, about a week ago, the Consul General of Russia in Karachi Andrey Fedorov said Russia will provide oil to Pakistan at a cheaper rate if the government of Pakistan contacts. The Consul General confirmed that former Prime Minister Imran Khan discussed buying oil from Russia during his visit to Moscow.

Read more: Russia ready to provide oil to Pakistan if govt contacts: Russian CG