India, Russia deepen Far-East connect ahead of Putin’s visit

Imparting a fresh impetus to India’s “Act Far-East” policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for marrying Indian talent with resources of Russia’s Far-East region and highlighted robust partnership between the two countries in forging an energy and trade bridge.

Addressing the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) virtually on September 3, Mr Modi underscored that “the friendship between India and Russia has stood the test of time.” “Most recently it was seen in our robust cooperation during the Covid-19 pandemic, including in the area of vaccines. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of the health and pharma sectors in our bilateral cooperation,” said the Indian leader.

“Energy is another major pillar of our strategic partnership. India-Russia energy partnership can help bring stability to the global energy market,” said PM Modi. Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Puri is representing India at this edition of the Forum in Vladivostok to represent India at this forum.

“Indian workers are participating in major gas projects in the Amur region, from Yamal to Vladivostok and onward to Chennai. We envisage an energy and trade bridge,” said Mr Modi.

“We are also exploring new opportunities in agro industry, ceramics, strategic and rare earth minerals and diamonds,” he said.

Recalling his 2019 visit to the Russian city of Vladivostok where he first announced India’s commitment to an “Act Far East policy,” Mr Modi said: “The policy is an important part of India’s “special and privileged strategic partnership” with Russia.

“The burgeoning partnership between India and Russia’s resource-rich Far-East region is full of possibilities. If India-Russia partnership in this region succeeds, it will provide a big boost to bilateral trade, an underperforming area  in Delhi-Moscow strategic partnership which has remained largely defence-centric,” said Manish Chand, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, India Writes Network and India and the World magazine.

“PM Modi has aptly described Vladivostok as “sangam” (confluence) of Eurasia and the Pacific and underlined his commitment to partner Russia in fructifying this vision. This is positive message ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India for the annual summit towards the end of this year,” said Mr Chand, Director, Centre for Global India Insights (CGII).

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