Danila Ganich, Russia’s ambassador to Pakistan, has said that in his opinion the Russian visit could have been “one of the factors” for the removal of former Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan from power but added that it was a sheer coincidence that Khan happened to be in Russia the day the Ukraine war broke out.
“I think that was one of the factors but I also know that it was a sheer coincidence that he happened to be in Moscow on that very day,” said Ganich when asked if Khan’s government was removed from power because of his visit to Russia in an interview with Aaj News‘ senior anchorperson Shaukat Piracha.
“The proof of that is just the fact that he was in Moscow on that very day, had he known that the operation would start on that very day, definitely he would have tried to refrain from being there on that very day. So that was a coincidence.”
“As an ambassador of a foreign country I prefer not to interfere in your internal affairs.”
“I do know that Pakistani [authorities] concluded that there was no conspiracy. So here I would like to say period. I cannot take sides here, especially when your judge concluded that there was no conspiracy,” said Ganich.
Ganich said that Russia and Pakistan did not conclude any memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Khan’s claims that Russia had agreed to sell both wheat and oil at a 20 per cent and 30 per cent discount to Pakistan due to the efforts of his government.
“I can confirm that we did not conclude any MoU,” the ambassador revealed. “As for what kind of discounts could have been offered [on oil and wheat], I cannot comment on this, as these are confidential negotiations.”
Earlier, Russian Counsel General in Karachi, Andrey Fedorov said that a proposal was discussed between the two parties, while categorically denying that any letter was written by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government to Russia, reported Samaa News.
Finance Minister Miftah Ismail in an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson refuted Khan’s claims that Russia has not offered a 30 per cent discount on oil or wheat.
Miftah further said that even though a letter was written by former minister Hammad Azhar, Russia did not respond to the letter.
Former premier Khan recently said that during his time in power, the PTI government had signed an agreement with Russia to buy cheap oil and wheat. Adding that his government remained in power Pakistan would not have to face the petrol bomb.
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