New connectivity routes to get push during Modi''s Vladivostok visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modis visit to Vladivostok to participate in the 5th Eastern Economic Forum as Chief Guest and also to hold the 20th annual bilateral summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin will see the two sides give a major push to connectivity, through a proposed sea route between Chennai and Vladivostok and also the International North South Transport Corridor.


The Chennai-Vladivostok shipping route would boost trade between the mineral-rich Russian far eastern region and India.


It would help transfer cargo in 24 days in comparison to over 40 days currently taken to transport goods from India to the Far East Russia via Europe.


The move is also aimed at countering China''s ambitious Maritime Silk Route (MSR) connecting Asia with Africa, which is part of its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.


The other connectivity route that India and Russia plan to push ahead with is the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC), a mainly overland route that would extend from shipping originating in Mumbai through to Iran's Chabahar Port, and overland to Central Asia and Russia.


The Chennai-Vladivostok shipping route concept was discussed during the visit of then External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's visit to Vladivostok to attend the Eastern Economic Forum in July 2018.