Islamabad: Cash-strapped Pakistan on Monday said Russia has agreed to provide it with crude oil as well as petrol and diesel at discounted rates, as Islamabad battles to contain a current account deficit swelled by energy payments, mostly for oil.
The development comes a month after Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that Pakistan is exploring the possibility of buying discounted Russian oil on the lines of India.
Pakistan is struggling to meet domestic gas supply needs as winter approaches and is under pressure to explore cheaper energy supplies due to dwindling foreign exchange reserves. It is battling to contain a current account deficit swelled by energy payments, mostly for oil.
Addressing a press conference here, Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik — who flew to Russia last week for negotiation on low-priced petroleum supplies — said his Moscow visit has been “more productive than expected”.
“Russia has decided to provide Pakistan crude oil at discounted rates…this is the oil that refineries use to produce diesel and petrol. Russia will also give petrol and diesel to Pakistan at reduced prices,” he said.
“The Russian government is setting up new factories for the production of LNG (liquefied natural gas) and they have invited Pakistan to begin talks on long-term contracts for 2025 and 2026,” Malik said.