Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has said that Pakistan is ready to buy discounted Russian oil as long as there is no danger of US sanctions over any such purchase.
Speaking to CNN anchor Becky Andersen on Tuesday, Ismail addressed the question of the country’s stance on buying discounted crude oil from Russia.
On being asked by Becky if Pakistan would be willing to consider buying Russian oil at cheaper rates, much like India is doing, Ismail said they would ‘consider it, of course’.
Ismail also said that it seemed very challenging and difficult for him to imagine buying Russian oil right now, given the various US sanctions imposed on the country.
He also said that no such deal had been made by Russia as of yet, adding that the previous government was interested in securing such a deal, but Russia had never responded to a letter sent to them by the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.
“The previous government talked about buying oil from Russia but I think Russia is under sanctions and they haven’t responded to the letter written by the previous government,” he told the CNN anchor.
The finance minister also said that Pakistan would be ‘very happy’ to buy wheat from either Russia or Ukraine, depending on which country was willing to sell.
According to reports from Reuters, while US sanctions have been imposed on Russia, there is no restriction on other countries from trading with Russia. The Biden administration is consider adopting a secondary sanction that limits other countries from making such purchases in the future.
PTI leader Shireen Mazari disagreed with Ismail’s remarks, calling him a ‘liar’, and said that there are no sanctions on buying oil from Russia.