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Pakistan can import Russian oil: US

WASHINGTON: The US has repeated that Pakistan can buy oil from Russia at a lower price, despite the fact that it has not signed a Washington-backed price cap on Russian petroleum products.

At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters that Pakistan may likewise benefit from the concessions Washington has made to other countries in exchange for buying Russian oil.

“As a result, we have encouraged countries to take advantage of it, even those who have not formally signed on to the price cap, so that they may get oil at a severe discount from what they would otherwise acquire from, in this case, Russia,” Mr. Price added.

G7 and EU countries put a price restriction of $60 per barrel on Russian oil on December 3, 2022, to prevent Moscow from using the proceeds to fund its war against Ukraine.

Because Europe and the United States no longer import Russian crude oil, the regulated purchase would only affect third-party countries such as Pakistan. Islamabad has yet to sign the agreement, owing to the fact that Pakistan does not purchase oil from Russia.

Mr. Price stated that the US strategy for purchasing oil from Russia is outlined in the price-cap mechanism that the US developed with other countries across the world, including the G7.

“And the price cap’s virtue is that it allows energy markets to continue to be resourced while denying Moscow of the income it would need to propagate and fuel its cruel war against Ukraine,” the US official explained.

“We have made the point that we have very intentionally not sanctioned Russian oil. Instead, it is now subject to a price ceiling.” According to him, the US has been very clear that now is not the time to develop business activities with Russia.

“But we realize the importance of keeping global energy markets well-resourced and well-supplied, and we believe the price cap provides a mechanism to do so,” he added.

At a joint news conference in Islamabad on Friday, Minister for Economic Affairs Ayaz Sadiq and Russia’s Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov said they want to finalize an oil contract by late March, allowing Pakistan to buy Russian oil at a lower price.

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