Talks about Russian gas and fuel never go away from our social, economic, and political discourse, which set in with the visit of then-prime minister Imran Khan back in March. Since then, cheap Russian fuel has become a crying demand of every person on the street, who has had enough of high fuel rates. Now we hear that Russian officials have decided to give Pakistan cheaper prices for crude oil, petrol, and diesel. State Minister for Petroleum Musadik Malik, who earlier said that Pakistan was not a place for Russian consignments, is hopeful that the public will be given relief once Russian ships of oil with discounted prices hit the Pakistani ports. In this connection, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar visited Russia a month ago, and the decision was reached in the wake of his discussions with Russian counterparts. India has been buying oil from Moscow, and Islamabad has a right to consider the option as well. Now, Minister Mussadik Malik then traveled to Russia last week for negotiations regarding topics such as the supply of gas and oil. The minister says that his visit to Russia was successful, and now Russia will supply Pakistan with cheap petrol, diesel, and crude oil. He also congratulated the people, saying that his visit to Russia was more successful than our expectations. He said that agreements regarding crude oil, petrol and diesel have been made with Russia, and Moscow will provide us with crude oil, petrol and diesel to Pakistan at a cheaper price. Last year, the world went towards green energy, and the world bought a large part of LNG in such a situation. Though Russia does not have LNG yet, talks have started for LNG with private companies in Russia, and talks have also started with Russian government LNG plants.
Gas shortages have been a chronic issue in every winter, and in freezing temperatures, Pakistan struggles to meet domestic gas supply needs while also trying to control a current account deficit that has been swollen by energy purchases, largely for oil. Initially, the government was hesitant to go to Moscow but now ministers’ travel to Russia has turned out to be more productive than imagined. The government should be thankful to Russia for choosing to offer Pakistan crude at a reduced price.