Pakistan invites Putin for pipeline’s inauguration

Published: November 20, 2015
SHARES
Email
President Vladimir Putin. PHOTO: FILE

President Vladimir Putin. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday invited Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to inaugurate the North-South gas pipeline as Islamabad cleared the decks for closer economic ties between two countries.

He extended the invitation while meeting a delegation led by Victor P Ivanov, co-chairman of the Russia-Pakistan Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) on Economic, Trade and Scientific Cooperation, at the Prime Minister House.

Nawaz, Putin agree to expedite process for North-South gas pipeline agreement

The invitation was also announced by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar – who heads the IGC alongside Ivanov – at the first-ever Pakistan-Russia Investment Forum organised by Pakistan’s Board of Investment (BoI) and Russia’s Business Council for Cooperation with Pakistan on the fourth session of the IGC.

Earlier, Pakistan agreed to return $93.5 million to Russia to settle a trade claims dispute as well as increase the prospects of Putin’s first visit to the country. Islamabad and Moscow signed an agreement last month on financing the pipeline, which will be laid down between Karachi and Lahore for a cost of about $2 billion. Islamabad wants Putin to inaugurate the project as it moves away from its traditionally West-centric policy.

The project is to be implemented under the ‘build, own, operate and transfer’ model. Once laid down, the pipeline will be owned and operated for 25 years by the company awarded the project contract before being handed over to the Pakistan government.

Already Pakistan and Russia have signed a government-to-government deal which allows Islamabad to award the contract to a state-owned Russian firm without bidding.

Iran deal fuels tussle for gas pipelines in Pakistan

While discussing modalities for the project over the three-day IGC meeting, Russian authorities urged their Pakistani counterparts to expedite the materialisation of the contract for the pipeline, officials familiar with the development said. The government is planning to sign the commercial agreement over the next couple of months, they added. According to officials, Russia’s move to finance the pipeline is a prelude to the sale of LNG to Pakistan. “LNG supply from Russia was also discussed [during the IGC meeting],” one official said. “The Russian participants informed us that they could export LNG [to Pakistan] in the next two years.”

Trade claims row settled

Pakistan and Russia agreed to settle a dispute over $117 million worth of Russian deposits, BoI Chairman Dr Miftah Ismail announced. A framework agreement will be signed today (Friday), he said.

The deposits had been withheld under court directions after two exporters moved the court, seeking compensation for trade claims dating back to the Soviet Union era. The issue became a major stumbling block in advancement of bilateral economic ties between Pakistan and Russia after Moscow argued that the deposits, being sovereign funds, could not be withheld to settle trade related payments.

After Iran deal: Wrangling intensifies over gas pipelines in Pakistan

Under the agreement, Pakistan will return $93.5 million out of the $117 million deposits, said Ismail who led negotiations with Russian authorities. “The remainder will be disbursed among affected exporters.”

Dar urges Russia to invest more

Speaking at the Pakistan-Russia Investment Forum on Thursday, Finance Minister Dar urged Russia to invest more in Pakistan, terming the existing investment volume of $270 million a ‘little disappointing’. In particular, he sought Russian investment to upgrade Pakistan Steel Mills.

Victor P Ivanov, who is the director of Russia’s Drug Control Services in addition to being the co-chairman of the Russia-Pakistan IGC, agreed with Dar in that the existing volume of trade and investment between Pakistan and Russia “is not commensurate with the available potential in both the countries.”

He stressed establishing more air links between the two countries, saying it would be a stepping stone to set up direct contacts between the their business and investors’ communities.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2015.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (55)

  • sabi
    Nov 20, 2015 - 9:30AM

    You see!! you give democracy a chance it will give you a chance to live a better life. Well done pmln.Recommend

  • Point
    Nov 20, 2015 - 9:44AM

    If this happens it will be great.Lets hope that we don’t look at arms or helicoptor deals. Lets build new relationship from people to people with at least one country. Students exchange program deal, energy sector deal, tourism deal. Like please govt. lets be honest this time. Mae a friendly deal. Give russians some investment in Gwadar. This will also make Obama administration to get jealous which is what we Pakistani want to enjoy. Recommend

  • MUNIB
    Nov 20, 2015 - 10:14AM

    Good move by PAK.
    Never depend on one partner at international level be Usa China or Russia. Keep relations with all and make the best of it for your own good.Recommend

  • Imran Khan
    Nov 20, 2015 - 10:36AM

    If Putin ever agree to come to Pakistan then I think it will be a big bonanza for Pak.

    But it should not be much of concern to India as these world leaders come India almost every year and often meet PM in other high table conferences like G20 & BRICS! :)Recommend

  • Maher
    Nov 20, 2015 - 11:05AM

    Great initiative, it seems like Pakistan is shifting its strategic alliances Recommend

  • Kashif ALI
    Nov 20, 2015 - 11:06AM

    This is an excellent news for investment-hungry Pakistani economy. As is always evident, such bilateral agreements would help to enhance the socio-cultural understanding of the two countries as well. Russia is a major multidimensional economy and it is a good omen that the relationship between Pakistan and Russia are warming up amicably.
    The up-gradation of Pakistan Steel Mills will be an icing on cake in Pak-Russia bilateral relationship. I can sincerely hope that the technology transfer would be part of up-gradation too.Recommend

  • OSD
    Nov 20, 2015 - 11:08AM

    Brilliant work by the government!Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Nov 20, 2015 - 11:24AM

    Govt. should keep its eyes open for any “sponsored” mutiny, anarchy, arson, violence, agitation, protests, dance parties and parked containers at D-Chowk that might take place for the sole purpose of putting of Putin’s visit….similar to what was done with Chinese President’s visit.Recommend

  • Syed
    Nov 20, 2015 - 12:10PM

    Very good move by govt, diversify relationships with neighbours.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Nov 20, 2015 - 12:21PM

    WELCOME SIR,Recommend

  • ABC
    Nov 20, 2015 - 12:34PM

    A much better choice than AmericanRecommend

  • Someone
    Nov 20, 2015 - 12:42PM

    I hope Putin comes and we can increase trade with Russia and move away from the The Greater Satan AmericaRecommend

  • Agent
    Nov 20, 2015 - 1:09PM

    Lol. He has bigger issues to deal with in the world rather then cutting ribbons for pipeline or roads.Recommend

  • Allah hafiz
    Nov 20, 2015 - 1:19PM

    Yes ,,,,I think Putin does not have any work to do…Recommend

  • Harshvardhan
    Nov 20, 2015 - 1:29PM

    India never invites. Putin came automaticallyRecommend

  • Imran Qadri
    Nov 20, 2015 - 1:47PM

    Step in right direction. We should also have good ties with Iran, now even west is easing sanctions against them after nuclear deal.Recommend

  • shafi
    Nov 20, 2015 - 2:42PM

    we always Russian president at our soil, ur welcome Mr.presidentRecommend

  • Intrepid
    Nov 20, 2015 - 3:56PM

    Looking for sugar daddy.Recommend

  • Nov 20, 2015 - 4:03PM

    @Harshvardhan:
    something is burning..Recommend

  • Observer
    Nov 20, 2015 - 4:06PM

    This is a very good idea! We have seen how Russia has been playing a positive role against Western hegemony in the form of ISIS. She has also paid the price for talking daring stand.
    Pakistan is also a victim of extremism, and Pakistani nation is bravely fighting terrorist, and have also paid the price with their blood. We should join hands against local and international terrorism, that has made the Western political parties to score high in their constituencies and exploit the victim countries mercilessly.
    This bond of cooperation for better future must be secured through strong economic ties.Recommend

  • Wilson
    Nov 20, 2015 - 4:07PM

    I know that this news will be a little hard for out Indian friends to digest, and they might come with rather poorly written statements like “Yes ,,,,I think Putin does not have any work to do…” but yes, the Pak-Russo strategic relationship is at an all time high. But a lot needs to be done, a visit by Putin with usher a new era of regional/economic and military cooperation. A new axis is in the making Pak-China-Russia , with Pakistan providing acceess to the India ocean to both Russia and China via Gawadar. Instead of opposing India should join Pakistan with the CPEC project. Pak-Russo Zindabad (Long Live)Recommend

  • Fast
    Nov 20, 2015 - 4:20PM

    i think putin should visit Pakistan. He will get a lot of love and care in Pakistan and will remember his visit forever.Recommend

  • ABC
    Nov 20, 2015 - 5:07PM

    @Imran Khan:

    Who is asking what India doeas or meet? This news is abt Russia n Pakistan. Indian trolls are so obsessed with PakistanRecommend

  • bbc
    Nov 20, 2015 - 5:17PM

    Putin is using to make Russia the super power & he needs business clients So that they are engaging with Pakistan for their business profits just like US did all over the years with other countries they were doing the same with India for last 50 years & still have good relation they have more profit after US is going to lost ground .Recommend

  • Seadorff
    Nov 20, 2015 - 5:50PM

    Russia is never going to forgive Pakistan for helping U.S in Afganistan which resulted in humiliating withdrawal of Russian troops . Recommend

  • Sandip
    Nov 20, 2015 - 6:32PM

    @Wilson: Sure we can join. Only condition is you return the whole of Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir back to India and go back to your actual borders with sharafat.Recommend

  • S.R.H. Hashmi
    Nov 20, 2015 - 7:06PM

    Even though the move comes from Nawaz Sharif, whom I did not hold in high regard, I must nevertheless welcome the move by him to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to inaugurate the North-South gas pipeline and to seek closer cooperation between the two countries.

    Unlike our relations with the United States, which obviously brought us some benefits but on the whole, our association with the US did us more harm than good. And even now, we are paying the price of associating with US on its revenge war with the Soviet Union, in the form of militancy, extremism and terrorism. As compared to that when we look back at our relations with Russia, we do not see such terrible consequences. Among other things, Russians gave us the steel mill and despite what we did to them, they had offered to invest in, and rehabilitate the steel mills. And Russia has also offered to supply us some helicopters.

    Even in the Middle East, Russian conduct is very responsible. There are the United States and its allies, who created, aided and abetted Israel and with extreme pampering and massive economic and military aid, have made it the monster that it has become now. And not being content with that, they messed up Iraq, Syria and Libya, causing the death of over one million innocent men, women and children, in addition to preparing a fertile ground for the creation of monsters like Daesh, the so-called Islamic State terrorists. And despite seeing what the removal of strongmen Saddam Hussain and Col. Moammar Gaddafi did to Iraq and Libya, they are making the most unreasonable demand “Bashar al-Assad must go”. Now, if Bashar is still standing in the fifth year of assault on Syria, it is obvious that he holds substantial support among his people, and is perhaps the only person who could manage to bring peace to the region.

    And luckily, Russia is playing a very constructive and sensible role in Syria, by launching an assault on Daesh, in which mission it is also being helped by Iran and Hezbollah.

    It is definitely the most sensible thing to improve our relations and develop closer cooperation with countries in our neighbourhood instead of having distant friends like the US who use us to the full when they need us, and ditch us as soon as their need is over, and then go a step further and even impose sanctions on us.

    KarachiRecommend

  • asim
    Nov 20, 2015 - 8:38PM

    PMLN gimicks showing people ‘LAL Bati’, since my childhood listening to them. As if 35 years of Sharif dynasty has given you anything, good luck this time around as well…
    I live in Canada the worse thing a politician can do here is, 1) put his family in Government 2) Do business while in government. Both are being done by the Sharifs… Recommend

  • Wilson
    Nov 20, 2015 - 9:48PM

    @Sandip:
    Sure, lets have a referendum in Azad Kashmir and Indian Occupied Kashmir at the same time and close this matter once and for all (you do claim to be the largest democracy in the world, so lets do this), ready? P.s Gilgit Baltistan historically and culturally is and never was a part of Kashmir your apprehensions are unfounded. :) Recommend

  • Kravchenko-USSR
    Nov 20, 2015 - 9:53PM

    For Mother Russia!!!!! Recommend

  • ramdar
    Nov 20, 2015 - 11:05PM

    @Agent:
    @Harshvardhan:
    Do you have to show your arrogance by making such unnecessary negative comments? It does not enhance India’s image but only shows your obsession with Pakistan. I am an Indian & I restrict myself to countering anti Indian propaganda on the Pakistani media.Recommend

  • Sandip
    Nov 20, 2015 - 11:11PM

    @Wilson: There is no question of any referendum. Jammu and Kashmir acceeded to the Indian Union as per the terms of Partition. Attempts to bring in your self-serving definitions and interpretations are futile. Also Jammu and Kashmir includes the whole of Jammu and Kashmir – hence includes Gilgit-Baltistan and Aksai Chin areas as well.Recommend

  • Wilson
    Nov 20, 2015 - 11:24PM

    @ramdar:
    And that’s exactly the way to go about it, we need more people like you on BOTH sides of the border. Recommend

  • Nero
    Nov 20, 2015 - 11:34PM

    @Wilson: “Gilgit Baltistan historically and culturally is and never was a part of Kashmir your apprehensions are unfounded”. Completely wrong. Gilgit-Baltistan was very much part of the Dogra kingdom of Jammu & Kashmir. Even the most hard headed separatist in Srinagar (e.g. Geelani) would not agree with your claim.Recommend

  • Rome
    Nov 20, 2015 - 11:51PM

    Don’t be happy. Its all is happening with the USA permission. Trust me, this government does not dare to do anything without permission from the USA. So even if we do any bussines with iran or China is it with their permission. Just ask the leadership in this country. The trustworthy will tell yoy exactly what I have said.Recommend

  • Sarfaraz
    Nov 21, 2015 - 12:11AM

    Stop plundering natural resources of Sindh and Balochistan to feed Lahore! This is a huge blunder! Recommend

  • Wilson
    Nov 21, 2015 - 12:44AM

    @Sandip:
    Well its called Occupied Indian Kashmir for a reason (supported by UN resolutions and people of Occupied Indian Kashmir), not to mention the daily protest which are a common sight in Indian Occupied Kashmir and the .P.s I am disappointed by your response so much so for the largest democracy in the world. One more thing Human rights violation are tantamount to the peace process and should immediately end in Indian Occupied Kashmir and the conflict should be resolved as per the wishes of the people of Kashmir, we are ready for a referendum in Azad Kashmir at the same time you should also respect the wishes of Indian Occupied Kashmir and resolve this conflict so we can both move forward. One more thing Gilgit Baltistan is not a part of Kashmir. :) Cheers Recommend

  • Sonny
    Nov 21, 2015 - 1:16AM

    As an Indian I would like to congratulate NS for this chance in stance. He should try to build economic ties with everyone in the world. This will lead to shift in focus. And hopefully in future India and pakistan will be able to resolve the differences pragmatically rather than emotionally. Both countries have to prioritise correctly before sitting down on table. For now they should just keep quiet about each other and mind their own business. Their constant chatter is doing more damage than good. After all European countries did it so I dont see the reason why India and Pakistan cannot. When there is a will …..Recommend

  • shiv
    Nov 21, 2015 - 1:26AM

    Definitely Mr. Putin will help u in making uigur Muslims azad who r being slaughtered by Chinese.Recommend

  • Zahid
    Nov 21, 2015 - 2:09AM

    Welcome Russian president to PakistanRecommend

  • hari
    Nov 21, 2015 - 5:12AM

    The more the Russian presence in Pakistan that much better for India, if you get the obvious.Recommend

  • Nasir Malik
    Nov 21, 2015 - 5:23AM

    @Sandip:
    Americans are not trustworthy. Let’s give Russia a chance. Sino-Pak-Russia’s nuclear block is the need of time as the regional geopolitical situation is changing. We also need Russia and Centeral Asian Republics cooperation to do their business through CPEC and Gwader Port. I think Russians have realised the need of this block. It’s true, an enemy of your enemy is your friend. Let’s move forward by forgetting the bitter past. Let’s allow India to suckle milk in America’s arms. Wish you all the best! Recommend

  • Nasir Malik
    Nov 21, 2015 - 5:28AM

    @Imran Khan:

    It’s Indians habit they will definitely make a hue and cry.Recommend

  • Nasir Malik
    Nov 21, 2015 - 5:32AM

    @Wilson:

    They have seen the results in Bihar and Dehli’s elections. They would never do this mistake. Recommend

  • Nov 21, 2015 - 9:47AM

    A very good move by inviting President Putin. A very good idea and move. Also, returning the movies owed,is another very sensible thing to do, though late. Salams Recommend

  • asad
    Nov 21, 2015 - 10:21AM

    Hope for the best as LNG may become unaffordable any time, govt should not take the credit for these agreements as these steps were taken by Musharraf first time in history of Pakistan, he was the one to change the uni direction to multi directions, thanks to him. Rest we can only hope for the good, but these people will surely throw all burdons on poor people of Pakistan,Recommend

  • Nov 21, 2015 - 4:22PM

    Great . . . Putin is great leaderRecommend

  • shafi
    Nov 21, 2015 - 5:10PM

    @sandip, on wat ground u call us to leave sub-continent and go ,for ur kind information we r native of the sub-continent becoz we accepted islam and changed our religon, we r not arabs , The Arabs only brought Islam.we r the the son of soil.and by ur defination u must also go back to central asia as ARIA SAMAJ community came from central asia.u said kasmir Mah raja made accession to india, for last 60 years india is unable to produce document of accession to show to the world.Recommend

  • Prada
    Nov 21, 2015 - 6:05PM

    Pakistan will invite everybody. They also invited Obama.
    But did Putin accept the invitation?Recommend

  • Iftikhar Chaudhray (An Engineer in Civil)
    Nov 21, 2015 - 6:30PM

    Well done Team PMLN

    GRATITUDE………………………..

    MAY YOU PEOPLE LIVE LONG FOR THE PROSPERITY OF MY BELOVED PAKISTAN, WE ASSUME THAT PAKISTAN CAN BE A SIGNIFICANT MEMBER FOR THE WORLD POLITICS

    CONGRATS IN ADVANCE

    MAY PMLN LIVE LONG FOR THE PROSPERITY OF PAKISTAN AND WORLD OF MUSLIMSRecommend

  • Nov 21, 2015 - 9:53PM

    lets see if Mr.Putin visits Pakistan….but if he does than it will be something great.
    Russia is a power, important player and has a bigger economy….Pakistan can import much from Russia and the cost will also be lower….Pakistan can also ask Russia and private businesses for their direct investment in Pakistan.
    Pakistan and Russia should work closely or atleast help each other on different projects in the region as the goals of both the countries are almost same.Recommend

  • Nov 22, 2015 - 8:39AM

    Returning bact to a correct decision is never too late. Seeking help from Russia to build Pakistan economy should have been right from the beginning when Pakistan Prime Minister, soon after Pakistan was created was invited by Russian and the America at the same time. Liaquat Ali Khan chooses to go America differing Russia by making many excuse to Russia. Today one can see what America has done to Pakistan. In early fiftys there was tussle between Cumunism and Capitalism. American being holders of one of the Devine Book thought closer to Pakistani Muslim religiously. In my opion all that suffering Pakistan has gone throu is due to so called American Friendship. Had the Russia been still USSR, Muslim of the World in general and Pakistan in particular would have been in peace. We needed Steel Mill, America being fore most in steel were never interest to establish Steel Mill in Pakistan. Russia did. Search of oil was never encouraged in Pakistan by America thinking sufficiency of Energy would weaken dependence of Pakistan on America. Russia did and formed OGDC as Corporation. Now ogdcl, is foremost in producing oil in Pakistan. I appreciate General Raheel Shrif and Nawaz Sharif who’s thinking are in simimilar and effort similar to make this Country Energy Sufficient. Well done Russia and you both Chieves. Recommend

  • Zain
    Nov 22, 2015 - 11:14AM

    Now is the time when Pakistan should get rid of US masters who have always treated them as slaves, and increase ties with Russia. Russia is a great country.
    Though m not a supporter of PML N, but well done PM Nawaz Sharif.Recommend

  • NHA
    Jan 9, 2016 - 1:50PM

    Notwithstanding Soviet era intervention in Afghanistan, Russia is comfortable with Pakistan . Pak geographical advantage, proximity to central and West Asia is a great advantage to both.

    Pak is a substantial market , strong defence, fairly trained manpower are all contributing factors. Further, realignment of states is in the making , Pak -Russia relationship is also an exhibit of the development.

    Pakistan people will welcome President Putin. Recommend

  • Ibrar
    Jan 10, 2016 - 12:58AM

    @Sandip:
    You should be excused for making your silly statement. You guys will always think from your aese rather than brain. We do not wish to do anything with an immature smelly neighbouring country which breeds rats like you.Recommend

More in Pakistan