Pakistan not receiving any discounted energy from Russia, says Bilawal Bhutto

NEW YORK – Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari denied reports that Pakistan is receiving any discounted energy from Russia.

The foreign minister’s statement is in contrast to his cabinet colleague, who, after visiting Moscow earlier this month, had claimed that Pakistan is seeking oil at discounted rates from the energy-rich country.  

On December 5, Minister of State (Petroleum Division) Musadik Malik said Russia had agreed to provide crude oil as well as petrol and diesel to Pakistan at discounted rates.

Speaking during an interview with PBS NewsHour on Wednesday, Bilawal said: “We are facing an extremely difficult economic situation, inflation, pump prices. We do have energy insecurity and we are exploring various avenues to expand the areas where we can get energy from. Any energy we receive from Russia will take a long time for us to develop.”

When asked if Pakistan can have a relationship with the United States as well as have strengthening ties with China and do business deals with Russia, the foreign minister said that as far as Pakistan’s relationship with China is concerned, China is its neighbour with a long history between the two countries.

Pakistan has a lot of cooperation with China, particularly on the economic front, he said, adding that Pakistan has a historical relationship with the US that stretches back to the 1950s.

Bilawal said that Pakistan and the US are cooperating in a whole host of areas, calling it a healthy sign. He said that the cooperation between the two countries was narrow and specific within the context of the war on terror in the past, however, Pakistan and the US are now building a more broad-based partnership.

Earlier, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has sought the international community’s help in going after those who back, support, finance and facilitates terrorism in Pakistan.

In a news briefing after hosting the Ministerial Conference of G-77 Plus China in New York, he apprised the media of a dossier issued by Pakistan containing the pieces of evidence of Indian involvement in a terror attack in Johar Town area of Lahore in 2021.

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