Modi lauds India-Russia friendship, says it has stood the test of time
New Delhi, September 3, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today lauded the friendship between India and Russia that has stood the test of time and most recently seen in the robust cooperation during the COVID-19 pandemic, including in the area of vaccines.
Delivering a video-address during the plenary session of the 6th Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok, Modi said the pandemic has highlighted the importance of the health and pharma sectors in bilateral cooperation.
“Energy is another major pillar of our strategic partnership. India-Russia energy partnership can help bring stability to the global energy market. Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Hardeep Puri is 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. I am happy that the Chennai-Vladivostok Maritime Corridor is making headway. This connectivity project along with the International North-South Corridor will bring India and Russia physically closer to each other,” he said.
“Despite the pandemic related restrictions there had been good progress in strengthening our business links in many areas. These include long term supply of coking coal to the Indian steel industry. We are also exploring new opportunities in agro-industry, ceramics, strategic and rare earth minerals and diamonds. I am happy that diamond representatives from Sakha-Yakutia and Gujarat are having a separate interaction as part of this forum. I am confident that the one billion dollar soft credit line announced in 2019 will create many business opportunities between both countries,” he added.
The Prime Minister said It was useful to bring together the most important stakeholders regions of the Russian Far-East and relevant states in India on the same platform. “We should take forward the useful discussions that took place during the visit of the Chief Ministers of key Indian states in 2019. I would like to extend an invitation for the Governors of 11 regions of the Russian Far East to visit India at the earliest," he said.
Applauding President Putin’s vision for the development of the Russian Far East, he reiterated India’s commitment as part of its "Act East Policy" of being a reliable partner of Russia in this regard. He underlined the natural complementarities of India and Russia in the development of the Russian Far East.