KARACHI: Visiting Minister of State for Water and Power, Abid Sher Ali, has said that Pakistan believes in strong partnership and good relations in all spheres, political, economic and cultural with Russia.
He said this during his a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Deputy Minister of Energy, Sentyurin Yuriy Petrovich at Moscow. The minister also said that 65-year sold bilateral relations between Russia and Pakistan had exhibited strong resilience even during the times of political and regional challenges. The Minister was of the view that there was great room for improvement in relations between the two countries in the field of energy cooperation, oil and gas and hydropower generation.
“Pakistan is a big lucrative market for the Russian Oil and Gas Export and Pakistan welcomes Russia’s participation in energy projects. We must strengthen existing mechanisms of bilateral cooperation such as Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) and Joint Working Group (JWG) on Energy to make them more result oriented”, Ali said and hoped that the third meeting of Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) and Joint Working Group (JWG) on Energy in December in Moscow this year would lead to tangible results.
The minister also underscored the need to materialize mega projects like CASA-1000 at the earliest. He welcomed Russia’s interest in financing the project with US$500 million and appreciated Russia’s full support in convincing regional states, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan for participation in these projects.
He also briefed the Russian side on prospective projects in Hydro Power Generation and specifically mentioned power generation projects at Port Qasim, Gadani and Neelam Jhelum, in addition to Muzaffargarh 1, 2, 3, and Jamshoro Thermal power projects wherein the Russian side could participate.
During the meeting, the representative of Inter Rao and Techno prom expressed willingness to undertake these projects and informed that for Muzaffargarh and Neelam Jhelum projects the technical feasibility had already been conveyed to the Pakistani side and Euro 500 million had already been earmarked for these projects. The representatives requested for the early signing of the frame work agreement to speed up the implementation of the project.
Ali also proposed a Pak-Russia Energy Summit to build upon the momentum achieved through high level bilateral contracts for further strengthening and institutionalizing economic relations.