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Russia offers to help Pakistan resolve its energy crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning a visit to Pakistan soon, said Consul General of the Russian Federation, Andrey V. Demidov. He further said that Russia could help Pakistan address its energy crisis as it ranks high in energy solutions, according to a press statement on Wednesday.

Putin’s visit will mark the signing of various memorandums of understanding and cooperation documents between the two countries.“Russia is ready to help Pakistan out of the energy crisis, as it is the number one country in the energy sector across the world,” said Demidov while addressing members of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).

He said there were good prospects for Pak-Russia Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) and the Russian Mission could prepare a feasibility study on PTA as deliberations were required on certain legalities, according to the KCCI statement.

“Pakistan can export potato, rice, vegetables and fruits to Russia. Further, there is great demand for Pakistani natural pharmaceutical products in Russia. Pakistan can also be provided Russian-made helicopters and commercial jets,” he said.

“Non-availability of direct shipping-lines, airlines and a banking channel are major obstacles impeding bilateral trade,” said Demidov.To execute transit trade from Gwadar Port, adequate infrastructure, railways, highways and bridges were essential, he said. Moreover, Pakistani students would continue to benefit from Russian scholarships programmes, he said.

KCCI President, Haroon Agar, said there is a dire need for Pakistan-Russian inter-governmental arrangements to develop direct shipping and air-links and to establish banking channels to multiply bilateral trade. Recalling Pak-Russian cooperation in the past, he said there was need to enhance cooperation in the areas of heavy machinery, engineering, automobiles, revamping railways, energy from coal, corporate farming, mining, health, education and other areas of national interest.

“Pakistan could seek the Russian help to integrate and boost its energy and engineering sector with technologies transfer,” said Agar.There could be a big share for the Russian Federation in the mining and manufacturing of coal-based power generation, particularly in Thar Coal, he said.

Russia is the third largest textiles importing country of the world after USA and EU. Given that Pakistan is the third largest textile exporting country, there is great potential exist for the Pakistani textiles industry and its products to be exported to Russia. With the multilateral cooperation of Central Asian Republics, Russian trade can be facilitated from the ports of Pakistan to other countries of the globe. “KCCI is considering creating a high-level business delegation to Russia,” said Agar.

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