Pakistan has said it is open to importing oil and foodstuffs from Russia amid the ongoing backlash against the country for invading Ukraine.
Speaking at a press briefing, Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Asim Iftikhar said the country had an ‘open door policy’ driven by the national interest of expanding economic relations and commercial.
“Our policy is clear, you know, in terms of expanding economic and trade relations, we have an open policy, driven by the national interest. Wherever we see there is national benefit, we pursue those options. and these avenues,” quoted The Express Tribune newspaper. Iftikhar as saying.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson made the remarks while responding to a question about whether or not Pakistan was considering importing oil and food grains from Russia.
It comes as the government raised the prices of petroleum products by PKR 30 a litre, saying the decision had been taken to ensure the relaunch of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program and that they had no other choice.
Russia had launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, the day former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan decided to visit Moscow to lobby for the construction of a multi-billion dollar gas pipeline, long delayed. collaboration with Russian companies.
Many had called Imran Khan’s visit untimely.
Imran Khan, who was ousted from power, claimed that the new Shehbaz Sharif government had abandoned plans to acquire cheap Russian oil that his government had managed to secure.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari recently defended Imran Khan’s visit to Moscow. At a press conference at the UN, Bilawal claimed that the former Pakistani prime minister was unaware that Russia would invade Ukraine the same day he landed in the Russian capital.
“Regarding the former Prime Minister’s trip to Russia, I would absolutely defend the former Prime Minister of Pakistan. He made this trip as part of his foreign policy and unknowingly – no one is psychic, nobody has a sixth sense – – there’s no way we could have known that this would be when the current conflict would start,” the Pakistani foreign minister said.
“In his capacity as Prime Minister, in the way he conducted himself in foreign policy, particularly in the context of this trip to Russia, I will go so far as to defend the fact that he did not know that the Ukrainian conflict would start the same day he was there,” he added.
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