Pakistani Finance Minister Says He Could Buy Russian Oil at Cut Price | Business and Economy News

If India buys oil from Russia, “we have a right too,” the minister said as Pakistan aims to preserve its falling forex.

Pakistan is considering buying Russian oil at a discount, its finance minister has said, as he seeks to allay concerns that the country may need to reschedule its Paris Club debt following floods devastating.

Credit agency Moody’s downgraded Pakistan’s sovereign rating by one notch on October 6, citing increased liquidity and external vulnerability risks caused by the economic impact of the floods, in a move heavily contested by the government. .

Economists said Pakistan will have to explore all options to increase and save on its foreign exchange reserves, which have fallen to about a month of imports consisting largely of oil and gas purchases.

When asked if Pakistan could turn to cheap Russian oil, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar told reporters: “We are definitely considering it. If India buys oil from Russia, we also have the right [to do so].”

The richer economies of the Group of Seven have tried to impose a price cap mechanism on Russian oil exports by December 5, when European Union sanctions banning maritime imports of Russian crude will come into force.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif appealed for debt relief from the Paris Club, but Dar said on Wednesday that Pakistan would not seek restructuring from this group of creditor countries, nor would it no fault either.

“We can, God willing, manage [to meet our fiscal commitments]he said at a conference in Islamabad. “I assure you that you have nothing to worry about.”

Pakistan’s economy, already shattered by a growing current account deficit, inflation of more than 20% and a massive depreciation of the rupee, has been further weakened by the floods, whose economic impact is estimated at more than 30 billion dollars. .

Dar, who told Reuters in an interview last week that Pakistan would seek to restructure its bilateral debt worth $27 billion, also said Pakistan was repaying a $1 billion Eurobond that is coming due this year.

He met with credit rating agencies and US administration officials last week at the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Dar is the latest in a line of finance ministers from the beleaguered South Asian nation. He replaced Miftah Ismail, who was Pakistan’s fifth finance minister in about four years and only lasted six months, at the end of last month. This is the fourth time that Dar, a seasoned politician and chartered accountant, has been entrusted with this portfolio.