Pakistan to move forward with Russian-built gas pipeline despite Ukraine backlash

Pakistan to move forward with Russian-built gas pipeline despite Ukraine backlash
2 min read
17 March, 2022
Once completed, the multi-billion dollar pipeline will carry liquified natural gas from the country's southern port of Karachi to northern Pakistan.
Pakistan has nearly finalised a deal with Russia for a pipeline to transport natural gas from Karachi to the rest of the country [Getty]

Pakistan's plan for a Russian-built gas pipeline is nearly finalised despite the slew of international sanctions imposed on Moscow, The Financial Times reported.

Islamabad's Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said the deal to build the multi-billion dollar pipeline is "almost done" and once completed it will carry liquified natural gas from the country's southern port of Karachi to northern Pakistan.

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"We need a gas pipeline to transport LNG from south to north. That'll become essential for us in the next two or three years," he was quoted as saying in The Financial Times.

"Either there’s an alternative for us or we’ll go ahead with this deal… This is the best alternative as of now, and this was obviously done before Ukraine."

The pipeline will be built by a group of Russian companies and is estimated to cost more than $2 billion.

Pakistan, which was an ally of western countries during the Cold War, has in recent years strengthened ties with Russia and China in a bid to shore up its energy security. 

But its recent warming ties with Moscow have strained relations with the West, especially since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. 

Western states, led by the US and the EU, have led a boycott of Russia, attempting to isolate Moscow on the global stage. 

Pakistan has been pressured by western powers to condemn Russian aggression, prompting Prime Minister Imran Khan to lash out at their demands.

"What do you consider us? Your slaves? That we should do whatever you say?" he said at a political rally on 7 March.

Pakistan - like arch-rival India - abstained from voting to condemn Russian aggression at the UN General Assembly earlier this month.