The United States has said that it won’t object to Pakistan’s recent acquisition of discounted Russian crude oil. On Tuesday, a representative for the US State Department said that when it comes to energy supplies, each nation has the right to exercise its own sovereign judgement.
Following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the US previously imposed restrictions on Russian oil, but allowed for discounted purchases.
To ensure that Russian energy remains on the market and does not only benefit Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Biden administration has supported a price cap on Russian petroleum products.
As a result of the restrictions, Pakistan is diverting oil from the western markets and is now purchasing Russian crude, which will contribute to Moscow’s expanding sales to China and India.
If the first transaction goes smoothly, Pakistan expects to import 100,000 barrels per day of crude oil, not refined fuels. Pakistan placed its first order for discounted Russian crude oil last week, and one shipment is expected to reach the port of Karachi in May.
The US State Department spokesperson gave Pakistan the reassurance that any weapons left behind during the US military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan were no longer usable in response to concerns that the Taliban might have obtained them.
In September 2021, the US finished removing its troops from Afghanistan, but there are reports that the Taliban may have acquired access to a variety of US weapons and equipment.
The spokesperson emphasised that Pakistan continues to receive support from the US in its fight against terrorism and that the US is still committed to a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.
The purchase of discounted Russian crude occurs at a time when Pakistan’s economy is having difficulty, with the industrial sector and construction industry being negatively impacted by a sharp decline in steel consumption.
During the first eight months of the fiscal year, cement production fell by 11.82% as a result of the decline in steel consumption.
Despite these obstacles, Pakistan is looking into other options for energy sources, such as renewable energy. By 2030, the nation wants to produce 30% of its electricity from renewable sources.