Pakistan will buy petroleum products from Russia at the same terms as India and western countries should have no objection.
Addressing a press briefing on Sunday, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that the coalition government’s intention on Russian crude and said the West cannot object to the import of the discounted fuel with Pakistan’s financial hardships of late and neighboring India doing the same.
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Russian oil is cheaper than global oil prices and many regional countries are either importing from Russia or working on it. The previous government had also started due diligence on this process but could not move ahead. Now, the current government, despite pressure from the USA, has also started considering it.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar indicated the United States’ opposition to the purchase of Russian oil and stressed that Islamabad intended to enter into the fuel import deal with Moscow on terms similar to those agreed by New Delhi.
According to a message received here, the country’s financial czar, while addressing the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) workers in Dubai, said that the US had been told that Pakistan could purchase Russian oil because its neighbor India was doing the same.
“We told the American [State Department] officials that America cannot stop us from buying oil from Russia because our neighboring country India is also buying oil from Russia,” The finance minister told the gathering while referring to his visit to the US last month.
The minister added that it was decided in the meeting that Pakistan could buy oil from Russia. “The US officials said they are forming a G-7 platform that will determine the price of buying oil from Russia and that no one should buy oil from Russia at a higher price.”
Finance Minister also said that the government would maintain between the prices of the dollar and the rupee. “We will try to depreciate the dollar below Rs200. Our government is determined to improve the rupee’s value against the dollar,” he said, adding that the government was implementing reforms to bring the economy back on its feet.
“We will complete the IMF [International Monetary Fund] program. Around 32 to 34 billion Dollars are required for the current financial year. We hope to collect the amount,” Ishaq Dar said speaking about the funds to be received from the global financial institution.