Masood Khan poses for a photograph.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US, Masood Khan has confirmed that Islamabad is buying crude oil at discounted rates from Russia, highlighting that the Biden administration in Washington had no issues with the decision.
Speaking at a conference in Washington D.C. by Wilson Center's South Asia Institute on the future of relations between Pakistan and the US, Khan said that Islamabad had placed its first order for Russian oil, which he said was done after positive consultation with the Washington.
"We have placed the first order for Russian oil, and this has been done in consultation with the US government. There's no misunderstanding between Washington and Islamabad on this count.
"They (US) have suggested that we are free to buy anything below or up to the price cap, and we have abided by that agreement. I think Washington is fine with that," the envoy added.
Khan's statement was echoed by the US State Department's principal deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel, who said that the administration did not oppose the deal.
"Each country is going to make its own sovereign decisions as it relates to its energy supply," Patel said, adding that the Biden administration had left the doors and options open for such purchases, a change in policy which previously restricted states on Russian oil after Moscow attacked and invaded Ukraine last year.
"One of the reasons that the US, through the G7, has been a big proponent of the price cap is to ensure that steps are not being taken to keep Russian energy off the market because we understand that there is a demand for supply," he said.
The news of import of crude oil from Russia was also confirmed by Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who stated that his government was set to receive inaugural shipment of crude oil.
The decision holds great importance as it not only supports and bring respite to cash-strapped Pakistan, but also gives a positive confidence boost to the government which has been struggling to avert the balance of payments crisis in light of the wait for the revival of the crucial financial plan of International Monetary Fund (IMF) for Pakistan.
Experts say that US' decision to not oppose Pakistan's deal with Russia for crude oil, indicates that ties between Washington and Islamabad are coming back on track.
"We are back in business. It is important that the United States restores for Pakistan foreign military financing and foreign military sales, which were suspended by the previous administration of Donald Trump," said Ambassador Khan.
Indo-Asian News Service
Khan, who served as President of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) till last August, was nominated as Ambassador to the US in November.
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