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Russia can send natural gas to Pakistani markets: Deputy PM Novak

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  • Russia can send gas either using Central Asian infrastructure or Iran.
  • Moscow ready to resume gas supplies to Europe through. 
  • Moscow discussing higher supplies of its gas to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Russia can send its natural gas to the markets of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told state TASS news agency. 

Novak said that Russia can send gas either using the infrastructure of Central Asia or in a swap from the territory of Iran. 

On December 5, Pakistan’s State Minister for Petroleum Musadik Malik said that talks with Russian private firms are underway for the import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). He had added that Islamabad also engaged with Russia’s state LNG producers.

The state minister said that significant progress has been in talks over the pipeline projects with Moscow.

During talks on the gas pipeline projects, Moscow asked Pakistan to first honour its commitment to the flagship project of the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline (PSGP) to be laid down from Karachi to Lahore, Punjab.

In their response, the Pakistani team proposed to change the model of the PSGP project. The Russian side said that the model of the project under GtG (government-to-government) arrangement had already been settled, save for some clauses of the shareholding agreement, which would soon be finalised.

Meanwhile, on September 18, Pakistani Defence Minister Khawaja Asif also said “Russia has proposed its gas pipelines infrastructure has been extended to Central Asian states which can be extended to Pakistan through Afghanistan to provide gas supplies”. 

Russia to resume gas supplies to Europe

Moreover, the Russian deputy prime minister said that Moscow is ready to resume gas supplies to Europe through the Yamal-Europe Pipeline.

“The European market remains relevant, as the gas shortage persists, and we have every opportunity to resume supplies,” TASS cited Novak as saying in remarks published by the agency on Sunday.

“For example, the Yamal-Europe Pipeline, which was stopped for political reasons, remains unused.”

The Yamal-Europe Pipeline usually flows westward, but has been mostly reversed since December of 2021 as Poland turned away from buying from Russia in favour of drawing on stored gas in Germany.

In May, Warsaw terminated its agreement with Russia, after earlier rejecting Moscow’s demand that it pays in roubles.

Russian supplier Gazprom responded by cutting off supply and also said it would no longer be able to export gas via Poland after Moscow imposed sanctions against the firm that owns the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe pipeline.

Novak also reiterated that Moscow is discussing additional gas supplies through Turkey after a creation of a hub there.

He also said that Moscow expects it will have shipped 21 billion cubic metres (bcm) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe in 2022.

“This year we were able to significantly increase LNG supplies to Europe,” Novak said. “In the 11 months of 2022 they increased to 19.4 bcm, by the end of the year 21 bcm are expected.”

In a wide-ranging interview with the TASS agency, parts of which have been published throughout the weekend, Novak also said that Russia has agreed with Azerbaijan to increase gas supplies for its domestic consumption.

“In the future, when they increase gas production, we will be able to discuss swaps,” he said.

Moscow is also discussing higher supplies of its gas to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, he said.

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Moody’s says the IMF programme will increase Pakistan’s foreign financing.

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Moody’s, a reputable international rating agency, has stated that Pakistan’s chances of acquiring funding will increase as a result of the recent agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which offers dependable sources for that purpose from both friendly countries and international financial institutions.

According to a recent Moody’s analysis on Pakistan’s economy, social unrest and tensions could result from Pakistan’s ongoing inflation. The country’s economic reforms may be hampered by increased taxes and potential changes to the energy tariff, it continued.

Moody’s, on the other hand, agrees that the coalition government headed by Shehbaz Sharif of the PML-N is in danger of failing to secure an election mandate, which may potentially undermine the successful and long-lasting execution of economic reforms.

The government’s capacity to proceed with economic changes may be hampered by societal unrest and poor governance, according to Moody’s.

In order to appease the IMF by fulfilling a prerequisite for authorising a rescue package, the government raised the basic tariff on electricity, which coincided with the most recent increase in fuel prices announced on Monday. This report was released by Moody’s.

Food costs have increased in the nation, where the vast majority is experiencing an unprecedented crisis due to the high cost of living, following the government’s earlier presentation of a budget that included a large increase in income tax for the salaried classes and the implementation of GST on commodities like milk.

The most recent comments were made following Islamabad’s achievement of a staff-level agreement for a $7 billion contract that spans 37 months and is contingent upon final approval by the IMF Executive Board.

It states that Pakistan will need foreign financing totaling about $21 billion in 2024–2025 and $23 billion in 2025–2026, meaning that the country’s present $9.4 billion in reserves won’t be sufficient to cover its needs.

Therefore, according to Moody’s, Pakistan is in an alarming position with regard to its external debt, and the next three to five years will be extremely difficult for the formulation and implementation of policies.

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Base Of bilateral relations: China And Pakistan Reiterate Their Support For CPEC

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China-Pakistan economic corridor is a major project of the Belt and Road Initiative, and both countries have reiterated their commitment to it. It remains a fundamental aspect of their bilateral relations.

Vice Chairman Zhao Chenxin of the National Development and Reform Commission of China and Minister Ahsan Iqbal of Planning and Development met in Beijing, where Ahsan Iqbal made this assurance.

The summit made clear how committed China and Pakistan are to advancing their strategic cooperative partnership in all weather conditions.

The focus of the discussion was on how the CPEC was going, with both parties reviewing project development and discussing how the agreement made at the leadership level will lead to the launch of an enhanced version of the CPEC.

In order to improve trade, connectivity, and socioeconomic growth in the area, they emphasised the need of CPEC projects.

The Ml-I Project, the KKH realignment, and the Sukkur-Hyderabad motorway—the last remaining segment of the Karachi-Peshawar motorway network—were all to be expedited.

Expanding the partnership’s horizons to include technology, innovation, education, connectivity, and renewable energy sources was another topic of discussion.

Specifically in the special economic zones being built under the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (CPEX), Vice Chairman NDRC emphasised the possibility of China investing more in Pakistan.

In addition to expressing confidence in the ongoing success of the two nations’ collaboration, Zhao Chenxin reiterated China’s support for Pakistan’s development aspirations.

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Pakistani government raises petrol prices

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A recent announcement states that the price of petrol has increased by Rs 9.99 per litre, to Rs 275.60 per litre.

The cost of high-speed diesel has also increased significantly, rising by Rs 6.18 a litre. Diesel is now priced at Rs 283.63 a litre.

Furthermore, kerosene now costs Rs 0.83 more per gallon.

The cost of products and services is predicted to rise in response to the increase in petroleum prices, further taxing household budgets and jeopardizing the stability of the economy.

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