“The government does not exclude the import of oil and wheat from Russia”

ISLAMABAD:

The Foreign Ministry on Friday did not rule out the possibility of Pakistan importing oil and food from Russia, saying the country has an ‘open door policy’ driven by the national interest of expanding relations economic and commercial.

“Our policy is clear, you know in terms of expanding economic and trade relations, we have an open policy, driven by the national interest – wherever we see there is national benefit, we pursue those options and avenues,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Asim Iftikhar said. a weekly press briefing.

He was responding to a question about whether Pakistan was considering importing oil and other food grains from Russia, as neighboring India slashed oil prices after importing oil at reduced rates from Moscow.

The government on Thursday raised oil prices by 30 rupees per liter to meet the key condition of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to revive the program. The former prime minister strongly condemned the rise in oil prices, reiterating his claims that if he had been in power he would have cut prices as he negotiated a deal with Russia to buy oil at rates reduced.

Read also : Why are Pakistan and Russia getting closer?

The current government, however, has insisted that there is no written agreement between Pakistan and Russia at the request of the former prime minister and reports have also suggested that Pakistan has not no ability to refine Russian crude oil.

With Pakistan facing a shortage of wheat this season, the government may import wheat from Russia, which is one of the main producers of food grains.

The Foreign Ministry spokesperson confirmed that Pakistan is in contact with Russia and other countries on the matter.

“There is a shortage of food grains in Pakistan. And there is also a decision to import a certain amount of wheat using various options, international tenders and G2G options. In this regard, the government is in contact with friends and partners, and we are also consulting with the Russian side on this,” Iftikhar added.

Read also : Why Bilawal defended Imran’s visit to Russia

Responding to a question about US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s press conference where he discussed the threat posed by China, the spokesman said Pakistan wanted a balanced relationship with all major powers.

“We want objective, balanced and expanded relations with the major powers, including the United States, China and others, and we will continue to pursue this policy. So it is in this context, you see that we are engage closely with China,” the FO spokesperson added.

“We are strategic partners, BRI, CPEC and other initiatives are there, and the recent contacts with the United States, the engagement between the two foreign ministers is also indicative of the same desire of Pakistan and I would say to our two countries to expand our relations along these lines – broad, mutually beneficial, mutually beneficial and based on mutual respect, and I believe we will pursue this policy, we believe it is in the best interests of the Pakistan And in principle, we always encourage the great powers to adopt cooperative rather than confrontational policies.

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