Pakistan , Russia sign USD 1.7-billion energy deal
Islamabad: For the first time, Pakistan and Russia have signed an energy deal worth USD 1.7 billion to lay a gas pipeline from Karachi to Lahore, a move that may lead to further improvement in their ties.
The supply of a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is expected to start before March next year, according to a recently published news report.
During Shoigu’s visit, Islamabad and Moscow also inked a defence and military cooperation deal.
It is the first time Pakistan and Russia have signed an energy pact decades after the recent deal to increase military cooperation.
Pakistan, over the past few years, has carefully courted Russia to boost bilateral relations. Its former army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani visited Russia in 2009 and 2012.
Earlier this year, Russia lifted arms sales embargo to Pakistan, and a “final go ahead” was given for the purchase of Russian MI-35 helicopter gunships.
Pakistan is currently working on two LNG pipelines as an alternative to the apparently doomed Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project, which included LNG Gwadar pipeline and south pipeline from Karachi to Lahore.
The government has signed a deal with China to award USD 3 billion Gwader LNG pipeline and terminal project.
Russia has helped Pakistan set up the Karachi Steel Mills and also supported the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited, which is still using old Russian machinery in exploring oil and gas.
The paper also reported that Pakistan has offered China and Russia to lay IP gas pipeline but both the countries had backed out due to sanctions imposed against Iran.
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