Pakistan Ready To Buy Oil From Russia But Only At India's Rate, Says Finance Minister

Pakistan Ready To Buy Oil From Russia But Only At India's Rate, Says Finance Minister

New Delhi: Pakistan Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said that his country is ready to buy fuel from Russia at the same rate being provided to neighbouring India, news agency ANI reported citing The News International.

Pakistan’s newly appointed Finance Minister Ishaq Dar made these remarks during an official visit to the United States (US). Dar also spoke about the outcome of recent bypolls which were dominated by Imran Khan’s party PTI and referred to the government’s efforts to tame inflation and tackle unemployment.

PTI was contesting from seven constituencies and won the by-elections in six of eight National Assembly seats. “We were to select one thing among the two: either to save our politics or the state. We opted for the second,” ANI quoted Dar as saying.  The main opposition party also won two of three Punjab Assembly seats in the by-elections, further strengthening its position in the country’s biggest province — where it rules in coalition with Pakistan Muslim League Quaid (PML-Q).

West would have no problem importing the discounted fuel due to the hardship caused by devastating floods in Pakistan, Ishaq Dar told media persons, as reported by ANI. “I have held 58 meetings with the heads of international financial institutions, the US, Saudi Arabia, and other countries’ authorities during my 4-day stay in Washington,” ANI quoted Dar as saying citing The News.

In a roundtable conference hosted to discuss floods in Pakistan, the Pakistan finance minister said the United Nations Development Programme, Asian Development Bank and the World Bank authorities presented a joint report there.

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“Pakistan suffered losses to the tune of USD 32.40 billion due to floods. More than USD 16 billion are needed by Pakistan for the rehabilitation work,” ANI quoted the Pak minister as saying, citing the report.

Pakistan is staring at a possible food crisis as the production of wheat in the upcoming Rabi season is expected to fall because of the low-profit margins that are forcing farmers to look out for alternative crops, ANI reported citing media report.

Pakistan is now planning to buy wheat from sanction-hit Russia amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine due to the severe impact of the unprecedented floods throughout the country, 

“The two technical sides are already discussing that. We want to procure wheat from Russia,” Pakistani Ambassador to Moscow Shafqat Ali Khan said in an interview with the news agency TASS, as reported by ANI.

The Pakistani ambassador said they look to Russia as a long-term and stable partner when it comes to food supplies amid the food crisis. “…Russia has emerged as a new supplier for us, earlier it used to be different other countries. We look to Russia as a long-term, stable partner when it comes to food supplies for us,” ANI quoted Khan as saying.

These talks on wheat procurement and fuel come amid the diplomatic row over US President Joe Biden’s remark on Pakistan at a Democratic party event where he described Pakistan as “one of the most dangerous nations” in the world which holds “nuclear weapons without any cohesion.”

(With Inputs from ANI)