KARACHI: Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik has said that the government will place its first order for Russian crude next month and it would take another four weeks for the commodity to reach Pakistan, Dawn.com reported.
The deal, which has been in the making for months, could ease some of Pakistan’s fiscal trouble as the country, a net importer of energy, looked for ways to cut its oil import bill.
In an interview on Geo News programme Jirga on Saturday night, Mr Malik said several agreements with Russia had been reached and Pakistan will place an order next month.
“However, it will take some time for the oil to reach Pakistan … nearly 26 to 27 days,” he stated, revealing that the commodity will arrive in the country via sea.
Musadik says order will be placed in May
Mr Malik also clarified that Russia had assured the government that it was giving Pakistan a discount as much as any other neighbouring country was receiving.
Talks have been ongoing between Pakistan and Russia since last year for the trade of oil which had remained a contentious issue in Pakistan’s politics.
Former prime minister Imran Khan had repeatedly claimed that his government was ousted for pursuing an “independent foreign policy,” which would have allowed the country to buy oil at a discounted price from Russia, just like India.
Meanwhile, the current government also stepped up efforts to reach an agreement with Moscow for oil imports. In October 2022, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that the country was considering buying discounted Russian oil. This was followed by Mr Malik’s visit to Russia for talks on oil and gas supplies.
In January, a Russian delegation arrived in Islamabad for talks to finalise the deal.
Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2023