September 10, 2022 - There is immense potential for cooperation between India and Russia in the field of energy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday, notwithstanding the sanctions imposed by the United States and others on the former Soviet Union nation for its military aggression against Ukraine.
“India is keen to strengthen its partnership with Russia on Arctic issues,” Modi said virtually addressing the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum 2022 organised by President Vladimir Putin’s government in Moscow. “Along with energy, India has also made significant investments in the Russian Far East in the areas of pharma and diamonds,” the Prime Minister said.
PM Narendra Modi
Credit: PTI Photo
His comment came amid increasing pressure from the United States and other western nations on India to join the G7's move to cap the prices of energy purchased from Russia, which continued its special military operations in Ukraine.
Modi said that Russia could become an important partner for the Indian steel industry by supplying coking coal. “We can also have good cooperation in the mobility of talent. Indian talent has contributed to the development of many developed regions of the world. I believe that the talent and professionalism of Indians can bring about rapid development in the Russian Far East,” the Prime Minister said.
The finance ministers of the G7 nations – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United States and United Kingdom – already agreed that they would ban maritime transportation of crude oil and other petroleum products purchased above the price cap from Russia. The move is aimed at limiting Russia’s ability to fund its military operations in Ukraine. They, however, did not immediately set the price cap and rather left it to be decided by a broader coalition of nations.
New Delhi over the past few months drew flak from the US and the other western nations for refusing to join them in condemning Russia for its aggression against Ukraine – primarily in view of its decades-old strategic partnership with and its dependence on the former Soviet Union nation for military hardware. India is also circumventing sanctions imposed by the United States and the other western nations on Russia and continuing bilateral trade. It also increased oil and coal imports from Russia.
“The Ukraine conflict and the Covid pandemic have had a major impact on global supply chains. Shortages of food-grains, fertilisers, and fuels are a major concern for developing countries,” Modi said on Wednesday. “Since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict, we have stressed the need to take the path of diplomacy and dialogue. We support all peaceful efforts to end this conflict. In this regard, we also welcome the recent agreement concerning the safe export of cereals and fertilisers.”