ISLAMABAD (AA) – Pakistan and Russia have agreed to complete an oil and gas export process by end of March with Islamabad paying in “currencies of friendly countries” instead of US dollars.
Russian Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov said the two countries also agreed to explore additional avenues of cooperation.
“We have discussed the financial and banking cooperation, and we have agreed that the payments will be made in the currencies of friendly countries,” he said without elaborating.
Shulginov’s comments came at a news conference alongside Federal Minister for Economic Affairs of Pakistan, Ayaz Sadiq.
A joint statement said the two sides took the opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to a strong and comprehensive economic relationship.
“Both sides 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,” it said.
The eighth Session of the Pakistan-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation (IGC) was held Jan 18-20 in Islamabad, led by Sadiq and Shulginov. Senior level delegates, including ministers and officials from both sides, attended the session
The Commission agreed that relevant ministries and departments from both sides will vigorously follow up to exploit the potential for common prosperity.
The two countries also agreed to work on a “Comprehensive Gas Infrastructure Plan for Energy Cooperation”.
The Russian delegation arrived in Islamabad following a visit by a Pakistani delegation led by Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik to Moscow in December to initiate talks for the procurement of oil and gas at discounted prices.
Both countries reaffirmed their commitment to undertaking the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline Project as one of the pillars of the “Comprehensive Gas Infrastructure Plan” and agreed in principle on the supply of Russian crude oil and oil products to Pakistan, with technical details to be finalized in March at the latest.
They also agreed that the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline Project is economically viable for sustainable gas infrastructure development ensuring affordable gas supplies.
Islamabad and Moscow also agreed to nominate focal persons from both sides to enhance mutual cooperation and discuss issues concerning connectivity and logistics in Central and South Asia.
Pakistan and Russia signed two agreements in 2015 and 2021 for the construction of the $2.5 billion pipeline, which was slated to begin last year, but it could not be started due to global sanctions on Moscow.
Pakistan has been grappling with increasing energy requirements, mainly oil and gas, together with an inflating current account deficit because of oil payments.