Moscow, November 28, 2014 (PPI-OT): Sergei ToporGilka, General Director of Technopromexport, a major Russian state energy enterprise, called on the Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar in Moscow and expressed willingness to participate in various energy sector projects in Pakistan. The Minister welcomed the interest of Technopromexport Company in the construction of Diamir Bhasha Dam.
The senior executives of the Russian bank VneshTorgovBank (VTB) also participated in the meeting and offered a credit line of US$ one billion for the energy projects in Pakistan. They also showed interest in visiting Pakistan soon for further financial transactions. Ishaq Dar suggested that in addition to the energy projects the bank should also participate in the projects in other fields.
A delegation of another Russian public sector enterprise Tyazhpromexport, headed by its First Deputy Director General Maxim Shabala, also called on the Finance Minister and reiterated its interest in rehabilitation and refurbishment of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM).
Tyazhpromexport had built the PSM in early 1980s. Russia has also shown willingness for another state credit line of US$ one billion for PSM refurbishment. The Minister told the delegation that the government of Pakistan was working on disinvestment of 26% equity in Pak Steel Mills, hence the company should acquire the equity instead of extending loan to the PSM.
On the occasion the Finance Minister assured the Russian side for early settlement of the issues of mutual claims and financial obligations and requested the Russian side to expedite a draft agreement on the subject in accordance with the earlier agreed parameters.
The Finance Minister is on a two-day visit to Moscow leading a high powered delegation in the third session of Pakistan-Russian Inter-governmental Commission on trade, economic, scientific, and technical cooperation. The Inter-governmental Commission is the most important mechanism to comprehensively discuss all spheres of bilateral relations between the two countries, predominantly, projects in the energy sector.
The visit of the Finance Minister coincided with the third session of Pakistan-Russia Joint Working Group (JWG) on Energy held in Moscow from 20-21 November 2014. During the JWG, the Russian side had expressed willingness to cooperate in various projects in the fields of oil and gas exploration, construction of floating LNG terminals, LPG processing facility and gas purification plants, modernization of oil and gas infrastructure, innovative technology solutions in coal industry, and building/renovation of various power generating units in Pakistan, especially those of Russian origin.
The Finance Minister thanked the Russian side for their interest in various projects in Pakistan and assured that Pakistan government would like to enter into a long term multidimensional partnership with Russia in all spheres of mutual interest. The Minister briefed all the delegations on energy policy of the government to address the issue of current power deficit in the country.
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