Consul General of the Russian Federation in Karachi Andrey Fedorov.

Consul General of the Russian Federation in Karachi Andrey Fedorov has confirmed that former prime minister Imran Khan discussed the trade of petrol and gas during his visit to Moscow.

Talking to media, Fedorov said that supply of oil and gas to Pakistan was discussed during the visit but no deal was made in this regard.

The envoy also confirmed that the former prime minister discussed trade ties with Russia.

He said that Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has also held talks about procurement of oil from Russia, adding that sanctions imposed on Moscow are major hurdles in way of making such agreements.

“Russia has amicable relations with Pakistan despite pressure from the West,” he said, adding that the South Asian country has recently given approval to import 2 million tonnes of wheat.

The consul general highlighted that Russian companies are still interested in the revival of Pakistan Steel Mills.

Working is also underway on Russia-Pakistan gas pipeline project, which was signed during the previous tenure of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), he said.

About ongoing war in Ukraine, he said that the military operation was launched due to security concerns.

The consul general added that Russia could not foresee an immediate solution to its conflict with Ukraine. Fedorov said that Ukraine is not serious about peace dialogues with Russia.

The diplomat said that Moscow will provide cheap oil to Pakistan if it is contacted by the government.

HAMMAD AZHAR: Earlier, former energy minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Hammad Azhar asserted that the incumbent government was also barring private companies from buying oil from Russia.

He claimed that Bangladesh is also close to an agreement to buy oil from Russia, reiterating that the PTI-led government would have bought Russian oil in April if they were still in power.

Hammad said the fuel companies have Rs600 billion in oil profits while the KP and Punjab governments were also paying Rs100 billion respectively.

“A sum of Rs300 billion was set aside for oil subsidy. If we could get cheap oil from Russia, we would have saved this amount,” he added.

To a question, he said that the PTI government had started talks with Russia in mid-March. “On March 29, we received a call from our ambassador in Moscow who confirmed that Russia was interested in selling oil at low rates,” he added.

The former energy minister said that the “imported” government was also barring private companies from buying oil from Russia.

About the federal budget presented on Friday, he said “if even 2-3 percent economic growth is achieved next year, it will be a great accomplishment for the government.”

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