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Russia, Pakistan sign MOU on gas pipeline from Iran

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-09-28 11:34
A badge worn by a member of the Pakistani delegation at a press conference by Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov after their meeting in Moscow, Russia on Feb 20, 2018. [Photo/IC]

MOSCOW -- Russia and Pakistan signed a memorandum of understanding on implementing a project to build an underwater gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan and India, the Russian Energy Ministry said in a statement Thursday.

"The memorandum provides for the identification of authorized organizations through which the project will be supported, including during the development of a feasibility study, identification of the resource base, configuration and route of the gas pipeline," the statement said.

Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky and Pakistan's Ministry of Energy Additional Secretary Sher Afgan Khan signed the document in Moscow.

Now Russia will have to inform Iran and India about the signing, after which it expects to sign a similar document with India, Yanovsky said in the statement.

The project was frozen in 2013 due to the imposition of sanctions against Iran, but its revival started in 2017. In November 2017, Russia and Iran signed a memorandum that envisaged Russian support for gas supplies from Iran to India.

In March, a Russian-Iranian working group on the implementation of the project had its first meeting.

According to Yanovsky, Russia and Pakistan were holding consultations on another project of building the 1,100 kilometer North-South Gas Pipeline (NSGP) between Pakistan's Karachi and Lahore to transport 12.3 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

The implementation of an agreement signed in October last year between Russia and Pakistan on Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies "can become a promising direction of cooperation," he said.

The governments of the two countries were also considering signing an agreement on Russian oil products supplies to Pakistan, Yanovsky said.

In addition, Russian electric power industry has shown interest in the Pakistani market, he said.

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