Russia says gas pipeline project’s construction to start right after signing agreement
ISLAMABAD: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday said as soon as the agreement related to North-South Gas Pipeline was signed with Pakistan, Russia could launch construction of the pipeline.
“We have discussed our cooperation in the area of energy and the flagship project here is the North-South Gas Pipeline (a 1100 kilometer pipeline) in Lahore and Karachi,” said Russian FM Lavrov while addressing a press conference in Islamabad. He was flanked by his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
Sergey Lavrov said that the relations between Pakistan and Russia were constructive and mutual beneficial.
“We have established a political dialogue at the highest level. I am glad you were able to preserve our dynamic political dialogue despite the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.
Expressing his desire to further expand the bilateral trade, he said the trade had already witnessed a record hike.
“I am satisfied by the fact that the mutual trade has increased by 46 percent and hit the record $790 million dollars. We should further develop our economic relations,” he said.
The Russian FM also confirmed that his country stood ready to strengthen the anti-terrorism potential of Pakistan including by supplying Pakistan with the special military equipment. It served interests of all the states in the region, he maintained.
He also stressed upon resolution of Middle Eastern crisis specially the establishment of the state of Palestine.
“Besides, we discussed the situations in the Middle East and North Africa and conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Libya, Palestine and Israel. We believe that against the backdrop of the detentions in the region we should not forget the task of establishing the state of Palestine. Russia stands ready to facilitate the direct dialogue between Palestine and Israel,” he said.
Talking about the gas project, FM Qureshi said he was happy to share with the nation that Pakistan had overcome the impediments in the mega project.
“Pakistan is committed to go ahead with this project of gas pipeline because we are the beneficiaries as we are energy deficient,” he said.
Shahd Mahmood said they had also looked at the bilateral cooperation in defence, anti-terrorism and they felt that they had within their framework the dialogue in this regard.