Pakistan to seek advice from international firm on gas pipeline project

— Reuters/File
  • Sources say that so far there is a pause in the talks between Russian and Pakistani government officials.
  • The pipeline project is a joint venture between the two, with Pakistan holding 74% and Russia 26%.
  • A Department of Energy official confirms the news to seek the advice of an international law firm.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided to seek the opinion of an international legal firm on the fate of the $3 billion Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline (PSGP) project after Western sanctions against Moscow amid the crisis Russian-Ukrainian in progress, The news reported.

Sources with knowledge of the matter told the publication that the pipeline project is a joint venture between the two, with Pakistan holding 74% of the shares and Russia 26%.

They said: “So far, there is a pause in talks between officials, legal experts and companies from the Russian and Pakistani governments over a shareholding agreement for the project.”

“Both parties attempted to finalize the draft shareholding agreement before the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Moscowbut there were some thorny issues on which both sides disagreed.

Read more: The North-South gas pipeline project will be called “Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline”

“Top leaders from both states wanted to sign the agreement during the visit. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Imran Khan renewed their commitment to the pipeline project.”

Since Russia went to war with Ukraine and the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom have imposed economic sanctions on Russia; due to which the oil division, they said, stopped talks on the shareholding agreement and decided to first seek the legal opinion of any international company on the impact of the sanctions imposed on Russia , on the PSGP project.

Confirming the news, an Energy Ministry official said: “Yes, we have decided to seek the advice of an international law firm to decide whether or not the sanctions allow Pakistan to move forward with the project. “.

Read more: Pakistan and Russia to sign important agreements today

He said Pakistan could not afford to complete the PSGP project due to economic sanctions.

Energy Minister Hammad Azhar, the managing director of Inter State Gas Systems (ISGS) and the Petroleum Division spokesperson did not respond to any relevant questions sent.

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