ISLAMABAD: Russia and Pakistan are unlikely to reach conclusive agreements on energy imports, but have expressed the hope to sign protocols for boosting cooperation in nine major economic sectors including oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

A three-day Pakistani-Russian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation began on Wednesday to examine the prospects for cooperation in the field of electricity including hydropower and renewable power projects, “cooperation in the field of oil and gas production and prospects of energy supply from Russia to Pakistan”.

The two sides are expected to sign on Friday joint protocols for future cooperation in nine major areas of bilateral interest including trade and investment, agriculture, energy, finance, customs, industrial cooperation, education & science and technology, information & communication technologies and communications like roads, railways and postal services.

The inaugural technical sessions of the 8th meeting of the commission kicked off on Wednesday and the respective sides were led by Deputy Director of the Department of Ministry of Economic Development of Russian Federation Israfil Ali-Zade and Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs Dr Kazim Niaz.

About 80 members of the Russian delegation also included many businessmen who would hold B2B meetings with their counterparts on the sidelines and as part of the meetings, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said.

Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation Nikolay Shulginov and Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq would lead their respective sides on Thursday and announce major decisions of the commission on Friday.

Deputy Director of the Department of Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Israfil Ali-Zade said his country highly valued its relations with Pakistan and noted that a good level of cooperation in all sectors of the economy was already in place.

“However, there are various new avenues and opportunities that need to be explored further”, he said at the inaugural session has to review the existing areas of cooperation and find new opportunities for further deepening the bilateral relations.

The Russian delegation comprising 80 members is carrying out ongoing technical consultations in various areas. The areas of consultation include trade and investment, agriculture, energy, and industry.

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2023

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