- US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller says price cap imposed on Russian oil by Washington and allies has driven down price
The United States has said that Pakistan’s decision to pay for Russian oil in Chinese currency is Islamabad’s own choice, adding that it does not have sanctions against Moscow’s energy exports to other countries.
US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller, during a presser on Tuesday, was asked to comment on Pakistan getting oil from Russia and paying for it in Chinese currency instead of US dollars.
‘‘Is dollar becoming very weak internationally? Is that one of the signs, that a good, close ally chooses to pay in Chinese currency?’’ he was asked during the briefing.
’‘No, I don’t think so,“ the US spokesperson replied. “In fact, I would say, first of all, with respect to that transaction, we have been very clear that each country has to make its own choices based on its own circumstances in terms of energy imports.
’’But since you asked about that, one of the things that I think is notable about that is that – our understanding is that that Russian oil was sold at a significant discount to market rates.
“And I think it’s a sign of the price cap that the US, with our allies and partners, imposed on Russian oil that has driven down the price for Russian oil so that Russian oil sells well below market prices and, by our estimates, has deprived the Russian government of somewhere around $100 billion in additional revenues that would go to fund their war machine in Ukraine.’’
His comments come after the first cargo of discounted Russian crude oil arranged under a new deal struck between Islamabad and Moscow arrived in Karachi on Sunday.
State Minister for Petroleum Musadik Malik said on Monday that Pakistan paid for its first government-to-government import of Russian crude in Chinese currency.
Malik did not disclose the commercial details of the deal, including pricing or the discount that Pakistan received.
“We’ve run iterations of various product mixes, and in no scenario will refining this crude make a loss,” Malik said.
“We are very sure it will be commercially viable.”
Meanwhile, Miller, while answering another question, said that that each country has to make its own choice with respect to its energy imports.
’‘We coordinate with our allies and partners to mitigate the impact of Russia’s sales.
And I’ll finally note that the United States does not have sanctions against Russian energy exports to other countries.’’
On Tuesday, Malik had said that regular import of Russian crude oil will be started and Pakistan might import from Russia up to one-third of its total fuel imports.
The minister maintained that Russia offered a good discounted rate. Payment would be made in Chinese currency and the end consumers would be passed on the benefits of cheaper Russian crude oil, he had assured.