Russian deputy PM will visit on June 18 to boost bilateral trade, investment

Russian deputy prime minister Yury Trutnev will visit New Delhi on June 18 to explore opportunities for India’s participation in developing the resource-rich Far East and Arctic regions, people familiar with developments said.


Trutnev, the Russian president’s special envoy for the Far Eastern federal district, will take forward discussions between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin in Bishkek on June 13 about cooperating in the region rich in oil, gas, minerals and timber.


The visit comes at a time when there is a feeling in New Delhi and Moscow that the bilateral relationship needs a boost in terms of trade and investment. Military-technical cooperation remains robust but trade has stagnated at around $10 billion for the past few years. India’s participation in developing Russia’s Far East figured in talks between Modi and Putin on the margins of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit, and the Indian side said business delegations and state representatives will visit the region to identify opportunities.


Russia’s easternmost region stretches from Siberia to the Pacific Ocean and is estimated to have 10 to 14 billion tonnes of oil and 14 to 15 trillion cubic meters of gas. A consortium of Indian oil companies acquired a 49.9% stake in Vankor oilfield in Siberia for $4.2 billion in 2016 and the two sides are in negotiations for other oilfields in the region.


A new area of focus identified by (Modi and Putin) is Arctic region oil and gas. This is an area where we feel we should engage further, and we have already begun that engagement – a delegation from the ministry of petroleum and natural gas had discussions with the Russian side last month, foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale said, adding that the two sides will also look at using skilled Indian manpower to develop the Far East region.