Open to buying Russian oil if no sanctions are incurred: Miftah


A day after European Union leaders agreed to an embargo on imports of Russian crude oil, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said Pakistan would be ready to buy Russian oil at cheaper rates if the opportunity arose, provided no sanctions were imposed as a result of the agreement.

Talk to CNN On Tuesday, Ismail said succinctly: “It’s very hard for me to imagine buying Russian oil. At this point, I think it would not be possible for Pakistani banks to open LCs or arrange to buy Russian oil. And besides, the Russian Federation also did not offer to sell us oil.

When asked if Pakistan was ready to buy oil and wheat from Russia due to rising food and oil prices, the finance minister said: “We talked about buying wheat to Russia and the previous government talked about buying oil from Russia, but I think Russia is under sanctions.

Ismail added: “We asked Ukraine and Russia, whatever country is ready to sell wheat to us, we will be happy to buy from Ukraine or Russia.”

He also pointed out that “the previous government wrote a letter to the Russian Federation. The letter received no response. Russia has not offered us oil and is currently under sanctions. »

According to the Ministry of Finance, the government has decided to keep oil prices unchanged, raising fears that the IMF will not release the $1 billion loan tranche.

Read also: Russian wheat will be imported against cash

Reacting to Ismail’s interview, former human rights minister Shireen Mazari said: “This man is a liar! He says after 45 days we will buy oil from Russia if there are no sanctions. Ignorant! There are NO sanctions on buying oil from Russia. Ask India! So what’s really stopping him from buying other than fear of the United States? »

Reuters said the EU ban on Russian oil, agreed overnight after weeks of wrangling, aims to halt 90% of Russia’s crude imports into the 27-nation bloc by the end of the year.

It is the toughest sanction to date imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, and one that will itself affect the EU, where energy prices have soared and the inflation is on the rise.

Russia accounted for just over a quarter of EU oil imports in 2020, while Europe is the destination for almost half of Russian exports of crude oil and petroleum products.

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