Russia and Pakistan have decided to expand their partnership in the hydroelectricity industry. The Inter-Governmental Commission conducted discussions in Islamabad where the agreement was reached (IGC). The eighth three-day IGC meeting looked at the areas of cooperation and discussed methods for spotting potential fresh opportunities for enhancing bilateral ties.
On Thursday, Russia and Pakistan discussed strategies for “long-term” oil and gas shipments to Islamabad. According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, the discussions took place during a series of meetings between the Russian and Pakistani energy ministers and other government representatives over the previous two days in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad.
Other sources claim that Russia has committed to assisting Pakistan in finding alternate energy sources and will work with Islamabad to explore gas in the nation. Both Russia and Pakistan have agreed to deal in local currency, and to stop the smuggling of goods, Russian and Pakistani customs will sign an agreement.
In order to improve bilateral economic and commercial ties, a Russian delegation headed by Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov is now in Islamabad. The delegation is primarily focused on providing oil and gas to the South Asian nuclear nation at discounted prices.
It comes after a delegation from Pakistan led by the minister of state for petroleum Musadik Malik traveled to Moscow in December to start discussions on buying gas and oil at a discount.
“Both sides agreed on the importance of the energy sector for the development of bilateral economic and trade relations. In this regard, views were exchanged on supplying oil and gas from Russia to Pakistan on a long-term basis,” the statement said.
“Matters related to gas pipelines were also reviewed,” it added, referring to a 1,100-kilometer (684-mile) gas pipeline known as the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline Project stretching from the port city of Karachi to northeastern Punjab province.
The $2.5 billion pipeline was supposed to be built under two agreements signed by Pakistan and Russia in 2015 and 2021, but they were unable to do so because of international sanctions on Moscow.
Pakistan has been struggling with rising energy needs, mostly for gas and oil, as well as an expanding current account imbalance brought on by oil payments. ‘An essential associate in the Islamic world’
Malik asserted in December that Russia has agreed to offer Pakistan oil at a reduced price in order to meet Islamabad’s expanding home and industrial energy needs. He said that Pakistan would pay less for crude oil, gasoline, and diesel when they were imported from Russia.
On Wednesday, the visiting Russian team paid a visit to Lahore, in the northeast, and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. Vladimir Putin’s “special message” was delivered to Sharif by Shulginov.
Putin emphasized Moscow’s strong interest in strengthening the bilateral relationship in his message, which noted that Russia views Pakistan as a “essential” partner in South Asia and the Islamic world.
For his part, Sharif emphasized the significance Pakistan places on its ties to the Russian Federation. He remembered their meeting in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, in September of last year and claimed key agreements were made there to further bolster ties between Pakistan and Russia.
Local politics have traditionally revolved around the purchase of oil, especially after the arrival of former Prime Minister Imran Khan on February 23, 2022, the day before Russia started its war in Ukraine. Khan stated that his April fall from office as a result of a no-confidence vote in parliament was related in part to his April visit to Moscow.
In technical meetings, experts from the two nations discussed ways to expand their mutually beneficial cooperation in a variety of fields, including trade and investment, agriculture, energy, industry, education, science and technology, information and communication technologies, finance, customs, and communication, in addition to roads, postal services, and railroads. The visiting delegation also recommended that Pakistan benefit from Russia’s experience in research and science.
On the last day of the meeting on Friday, there would be a main discussion on the implementation of the gas pipeline construction project titled “Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline (PSGP),” oil and petroleum products delivery to Pakistan, Russia-Pakistani financial cooperation, implementation of the decisions and recommendations of the seventh meeting of the commission, besides cooperation in different sectors, before signing of the final protocol, as per shared schedule.