- Russian President Vladimir Putin says pipeline gas supplies to Pakistan were possible
MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that pipeline gas supplies to Pakistan were possible and part of the infrastructure was already in place, Russian state-owned new agency RIA reported.
Putin and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif met on Thursday on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Samarkand, in Uzbekistan.
“The prime minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to work closely with Russia to further expand and strengthen cooperation between the two countries across all areas of mutual benefit including food security, trade & investment, energy, defence and security,” a statement from Sharif’s office said.
The two sides agreed to convene the next meeting of the Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) in Islamabad at an early date, it said.
The long-delayed gas pipeline vital to the south Asian country’s economy - the Pakistan Stream gas project, also known as the North-South gas pipeline - is to be built in collaboration with Russian companies. The two countries agreed in 2015 to build a 1,100 km (683 mile)-long pipeline to deliver imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Karachi on the Arabian Sea coast to power plants in Punjab.
The pipeline’s designed annual capacity stands at 12.4 billion cubic metres (bcm), with the possibility to be increased to 16 bcm.
The project, due to be launched in 2020, was delayed after Russian had to replace the initial participant, which was hit by Western sanctions.
Sharif has said in recent weeks that his government was also interested in buying wheat from Russia if it was offered at better rates.—Reuters
APP adds: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif met Russian President Vladimir V. Putin wherein he reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to work closely with Russia to further expand and strengthen bilateral cooperation.
During the meeting held on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Heads of State held here, the prime minister said Pakistan was committed to expand cooperation with Russia across all areas of mutual benefit including food security, trade & investment, energy, defence and security. The two leaders discussed bilateral ties and exchanged views on regional and international issues.
The prime minister thanked President Putin for Russia’s expression of solidarity and support for the people affected by the massive floods in Pakistan. He also shared details of the devastating impact of this climate-induced calamity.
Prime Minister Sharif expressed satisfaction at steady growth of Pakistan-Russia relations, which were marked by strong mutual trust and understanding.
Appreciating Russia’s constructive role in Afghanistan, the prime minister said that both Pakistan and Russia had vital stakes in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.
He said that it was essential to intensify the pace of international engagement on Afghanistan and reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to support all regional and international efforts to stabilize Afghanistan.
During the meeting, Russian President Putin, while calling for need to work on connectivity and energy projects, discussed possibility of Pakistan Russia Stream Gas Pipeline project which he said required the infrastructure for delivery of LNG to Pakistan, according to a statement issued by the Russian presidency.
It was highlighted that the political stability in Afghanistan was essential to accomplish the connectivity projects.
He said Russia saw Pakistan as a priority partner in Southeast Asia and Asia as a whole and the relations between the two countries were developing “absolutely positively.”
He expressed condolences over the loss of lives caused by floods in Pakistan. He said Russia had dispatched the necessary humanitarian aid to Pakistan and was ready to help organise assistance to the flood victims.
President Putin said regrettably, the Pak-Russian bilateral ties subsided due to the pandemic, but the next meeting of the intergovernmental commission was scheduled to take place in Karachi this autumn.
He hoped that during the upcoming meeting, both sides would not only find ways to restore mutual trade but also to increase it.