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Pakistan-Russia oil deal: Countries to make own sovereign decisions, says US

  • US State Dept spokesperson says Washington has never tried to keep Russian energy off the market
Published April 26, 2023

The United States has said that the recent oil deal between Pakistan and Russia is a “sovereign decision” as the US does not intend to pull Moscow “off the energy market”.

Responding to a question on a reaction to Pakistan’s oil purchase from Russia, US State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel said each country is going to make its own sovereign decisions as it relates to its energy supply.

“One of the reasons that the United States, through the G7, has been a big proponent of the price cap is to ensure that steps are not being taken to keep Russian energy off the market because we understand that there is a demand for supply,” said Patel in a news briefing on Tuesday.

“But we also need to take steps to ensure that Russians – Russian energy markets are not turning out to be a windfall for Putin’s war machine,” added Patel.

“And so, again, countries will make their own sovereign decisions. We have never tried to keep Russian energy off the market.”

The statement comes after Pakistan placed its first order for discounted Russian crude oil under a deal struck between Islamabad and Moscow with one cargo to dock at Karachi port in May.

The deal will see Pakistan buy crude oil only, not refined fuels, and imports are expected to reach 100,000 barrels per day if the first transaction goes through smoothly, Minister for Petroleum Musadik Malik was quoted as saying.

“Our orders are in, we have placed that already,” he said.

He said Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL) will initially refine the Russian crude, with other refineries to be included later after a trial run.

Russian Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov led a delegation to Islamabad in January to hold talks on the deal, after which he said oil exports to Pakistan could begin after March.

At the time, Shulginov also said Pakistan will pay for crude oil purchases in currencies of friendly countries.

“We have agreed that the payments will be made in the currencies of friendly countries,” he had said at a joint news conference with Pakistan’s Economic Affairs Minister Ayaz Sadiq back then.

He did not specify the ‘friendly countries’ and neither of the two ministers gave details on the size of the planned purchases.

Earlier, Malik had said that crude oil supply from Russia to Pakistan will start by the end of this month.

Last year, Pakistan sent officials to Russia, after Malik said Moscow would sell crude oil at a discounted rate.

Oil and energy make up the largest portion of Pakistan’s import bill and the country is struggling with a balance of payments crises due to dwindling foreign reserves.

Pakistan has traditionally relied on the Gulf for its energy needs, but the Russia-Ukraine war and high fuel cost along with Islamabad’s crippling financial situation prompted officials to look at Moscow in search for a cheaper alternative.

Comments

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Mian Nawaz Sharif-Shit Apr 26, 2023 02:35pm
"Countries to make own sovereign decisions". Applicable to US allies only. Not applicable to China and its satrap nations. Paki has been warned to stay off Russian oil purchase and pressure is through IMF stalling deal.
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Liaqat Ali Malik Apr 26, 2023 02:51pm
Fantastic
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Tulukan Mairandi Apr 26, 2023 02:58pm
IMF is also gonna make its own decision to not help Pakistan.
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Junaid Memon Apr 26, 2023 03:05pm
Great! it took one year to place order, while india is buying discounted oil since one year. Good job
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Muhammad Ali Apr 26, 2023 04:21pm
Sovereign states are allowed sovereign decisions but not countries like us.
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Aslam Apr 26, 2023 05:57pm
If wise persons are in the helm, they would definitely treat this as a warning. Why aren’t we negotiating with china to get refined oil rather than taking these unnecessary and risky steps ?Is it just because India is doing it? Each country make their own decisions. Russia isn’t advertising discounted oil. These are exclusive for its partners. If Pakistan thinks that it’s a Russian partner, everybody knows then why imf bailout is getting delayed
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Aslam Apr 26, 2023 05:59pm
Mark my words, Russian oil will neither be cheap nor make its way beyond first order in Pakistan’s case.
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Dr Ahsen Saghir Apr 26, 2023 06:11pm
@Aslam, true. and we even don't have oil processing plants in here.
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Builder Apr 26, 2023 06:29pm
I agree with @Aslam. In another article, it's quite clear that Russian crude has different composition and yields more furnace oil compared to other products which is technically useless for us as most of our power plants have transitioned to LNG. Current government simply placed order under pressure. Simply put, Russian crude is not worth it!
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Urwa Apr 26, 2023 09:06pm
Great✨
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TimeToMovveOn Apr 26, 2023 09:07pm
This is just election propaganda news. This is to show some work. Beyond first shipment nothing will happen
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