Islamabad, 19 January 2023 (TDI): Pakistan and Russia on Thursday agreed to continue their cooperation in the oil, gas, and energy sector, says the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Pakistan.

A delegation led by the Russian Energy Minister, Nikolay Shulginov called on Prime Minster Shehbaz Sharif. The Prime Minister welcomed the delegation and highlighted the importance of Pakistan-Russia relations.

Prime Minister recalled his meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Samarkand in September 2022 and said that the meeting had reached important decisions to further strengthen Pakistan-Russia relations.

He also noted the desire on both sides to upgrade bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, and economic matters.

The Russian Minister responded to Prime Minister’s Sentiments and delivered a special message from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Prime Minister. “President Putin referred to Pakistan as Russia’s important partner in South Asia”, the Minister said.

Besides this, the Russian delegation arrived in Pakistan to discuss a range of issues, including an oil and gas deal on discounted rates, under the IGC framework.

Pakistan’s energy procurements from international markets constitute the largest portion of its import bill, putting immense pressure on its rapidly depleting forex reserves that plummeted to $4.3 billion earlier this month.

Gas Pipeline 

Pakistani officials also discussed a long-delayed gas pipeline which is built in collaboration with Russian companies.

The two sides agreed in 2015 to build a 1,100-kilometer pipeline to deliver imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Karachi on the Arabian Sea coast to power plants in the northeastern province of Punjab.

Also Read: Pakistan, Russia intergovernmental commission meeting begins in Islamabad

During the negotiation, the energy sector remained a priority, though the discussions also related to enhancing cooperation in trade, investment, industry, education, science, and technology sectors.

The statement informed the main protocol of the inter-governmental commission would be discussed and signed in a plenary session on Friday.

The Russian delegation also worked on enhancing cooperation in many fields, as business-to-business meetings took place on Thursday where different joint venture opportunities were discussed.