Pakistan in talks with Russia over import of LNG supplies

Amid an energy shortage, Pakistan is reportedly seeking liquified natural gas (LNG) supplies from Russia, revealed Pakistan’s Ambassador to Moscow Shafqat Ali Khan on Monday.

While speaking to the Russian news agency TASS, the diplomat said the two countries were currently in talks over the matter and pipeline gas supplies could be the solution to Pakistan’s rapidly-increasing energy shortage.

That being said, due to the lack of necessary infrastructure for pipeline gas supplies, Pakistan is currently focusing on its “immediate needs” related to LNG.

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“We have established contact with the Russian side, and we are, of course, very much interested in the procurement of LNG. But that will come later. Our immediate need is for LNG,” he said.

He added that an agreement on LNG supplies has yet to be reached with Russia. “We have just established contact on this,” he said.

Due to the surge in global LNG prices, Pakistan’s energy security troubles have been fueled drastically, which in turn has heightened the economic woes for the country.

Pakistan also currently has no long-term LNG supplier with spare supply in the market also fast diminishing owing to the increase in demand from the European Union.

With that in mind, he highlighted that Pakistan was calling for international focus to be shifted towards the gas issue.

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“If the rich countries take away all the LNG, what is going to happen to us? The global energy market needs to be stabilized. You know sanctions are impacting us very badly,” he said.

Moreover, Khan added the sanctions placed by the West will not come in the way of the economic relations between Islamabad and Moscow.

“We will try to bypass sanctions where they create problems,” said Khan.

Speaking about whether or not Pakistan would consider buying gas from Russia through Iran – given Moscow and Tehran reached an agreement on swapping gas supplies – the ambassador said: “I am not an expert in this, but any such ideas will be welcome for us to study.”

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