Pakistan Says It's Ready to Buy Russian Oil

Photo: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • Pakistan's Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar, said Wednesday that his country was ready to buy Russian oil at prices equivalent to or lower than Indian rates amid Pakistan's severe economic crisis.

  • According to Dar, who just returned from a visit to the US, Pakistan is "actively considering" purchasing Russian oil, while assuring that Islamabad would not turn to the Paris Club for debt rescheduling of $27B.

The Spin

Narrative A

Given the volatility and competition in the global energy market amid the Ukraine war, Pakistan should explore new ways to reduce its energy dependence and diversify its supply sources. Although it makes sense to enter into new energy partnerships — such as with Russia —Islamabad needs to explore its domestic energy potential and also focus on renewables.

Narrative B

Pakistani relations are not only growing with Russia. Closer Pakistan-China ties and US security interests should be another reason for pragmatic re-engagement with the strategically important Asian country. Washington should not only intensify energy cooperation but also provide market access for Pakistani exports and encourage American direct investment. It's a crucial time for Washington to deepen energy and other ties to Islamabad.

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