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World|politics|September 9, 2022 / 10:25 AM
India keen to boost ties with Russia, PM Modi at Eastern Economic Forum
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets Russian President Vladimir Putin during a welcoming ceremony on October 5, 2018 in New Delhi, India

AKIPRESS.COM - India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday pitched connectivity with Russia via Iran and Vladivostok as the corner stone of its special strategic partnership with Moscow and highlighted immense potential for cooperation with Russia in the field of energy, The Economic Times reported.

Whether we talk about the International North-South Corridor (INSTC), the Chennai - Vladivostok Maritime Corridor or the Northern Sea Route, connectivity will play an important role in the development of our relations in future," Modi said in his remarks delivered virtually at the seventh Eastern Economic Forum being held in Vladivostok in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Modi's address was significant coming ahead of the SCO Summit in Samarkand next week where he could meet Putin for bilateral talks. India plans to connect Northern Sea Route via Arctic to INSTC.

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Consulate of India in Vladivostok. India was the first country to open a Consulate in this city. "...since then, the city has been a witness to many milestones of our relationship," Modi recalled.

"The forum, established in 2015, has today become a major global forum for international cooperation in the development of the Russian Far East. For this, I appreciate President Putin's vision, and also congratulate him," he said.

Recalling his participation at the Forum in 2019, he said, "At that time, we announced India's 'Act Far-East' policy. As a result, India's cooperation with the Russian Far East has increased in various fields. Today, this policy has become a key pillar of the 'Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership' of India and Russia."

India is keen to strengthen its partnership with Russia on Arctic issues. There is also immense potential for cooperation in the field of energy, the Modi said.

"Along with energy, India has also made significant investments in the Russian Far East in the fields of pharma and diamonds," the Indian Prime Minister said.

Modi's comments on energy cooperation comes in the backdrop of India's oil imports from Russia at a discounted price over the last six months. India is planning to increase its presence in Russian oil assets in the Far East and is exploring to acquire stakes abandoned by the West in some Russian oil fields.

Russia can become an important partner for the Indian steel industry through the supply of coking coal, Modi suggested. It may be recalled that India and Russia signed an MoU last year for long-term supply of coking coal to New Delhi.

"We can also have good cooperation in the mobility of talent. I believe that the talent and professionalism of Indians can bring about rapid development in the Russian Far East," Modi suggested.

Modi also called for addressing the Ukraine conflict through dialogue and diplomacy.

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