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Islamabad Exploring Russian Financing For Gas Pipeline From Iran

Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet during the 66th session of the UN General Assembly in New York in September.
ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan is seeking Russian financial support to build a gas pipeline from neighboring Iran to meet Pakistan's mounting energy needs.

A senior Pakistani official told RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal that a government delegation is expected to visit Moscow in April to discuss a possible deal.

Islamabad decided to approach Russia to play a role in the estimated $1.5 billion pipeline after the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China withdrew from the project.

Pakistani analysts have attributed the Chinese move to pressure from United States, which opposes the gas route between Pakistan and Iran.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned that Pakistan could face "damaging" consequences from the United States if it goes forward with the project.

Islamabad has publicly rejected the U.S. warnings and vowed to pursue the pipeline.

With reporting by