India-Russia Relations

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This is no ordinary business deal, geo-politics laced all over it. Recently the Russian announced interest in investing in solar power in Ladakh :

 

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Russia can help India to be less dependent on oil, says Indian energy minister

Yen Nee Lee

Published 12:56 AM ET Fri, 4 Oct 2019 Updated 5:46 AM ET Fri, 4 Oct 2019 CNBC.com
  • India and Russia last month announced several deals relating to the energy sector.
  • Those deals could help India, the world's third-largest oil consumer and importer, to reduce its reliance on oil, said Indian Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan.
  • Diversifying India's energy mix allows the government to better manage its finances, according to Pradhan, who's also the country's steel minister.
India, the world's third-largest oil consumer and importer, wants to reduce its reliance on oil — and working with Russia could help it achieve that, said Indian Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan.

The South Asian country imports around 80% of its oil needs, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said he wants to bring that down to 67% by 2022. At the same time, the Indian government plans to raise the share of natural gas in the country's energy mix from 6% to 15% by 2030.

"Today, India is sourcing its energy requirement from a different part (of the) world, Russia is one among the important destinations for us," Pradhan told CNBC's Tanvir Gill at the World Economic Forum in New Delhi, India.

Following a meeting between Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin last month, the two countries announced several energy-related deals. According to Reuters, they include:
  • India's Petronet LNG agreeing to buy liquefied natural gas from Russia's Novatek and invest in the Russian company's future projects.
  • India's H-Energy looking to buy LNG from Novatek on a long-term basis.
  • Coal India signing a deal to mine coking coal in Russia.

Those deals and investments would help India and Russia to reach their goal of hitting $30 billion in annual trade by 2025. Bilateral trade between the two countries currently stands at around $11 billion.

India's finances

Diversifying India's energy mix allows the government to better manage its finances, according to Pradhan, who's also the country's steel minister. India's large oil imports, sourced mainly from the Middle East, make the country highly vulnerable to spikes in crude prices.

That's one of the reasons why some investors have been cautious about investing in India.

"Yes, this is an area of challenge ... how to manage our finance in this area," said Pradhan. The minister said that India is adding more gas into its energy mix, especially with plenty of natural gas supply in the market at a more competitive price now.

The country is also expanding its use of renewable energy, said the minister.

"So, India is a growing energy market. We know the challenges ... geopolitical influences are there, we know the volatility of the issue, the price especially. We're consciously preparing the alternative methods," he said.

— Reuters contributed to this report.

Russia can help India to be less dependent on oil, says Indian energy minister
 

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India And Russia Express Satisfaction That $25 Billion Target Of Bilateral Trade Has Been Achieved

Last Updated at November 14, 2019 13:31 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation on the sidelines of the 11th BRICS summit at Brasilia on 13 November 2019. During the meeting both leaders reviewed the progress made in the bilateral relationship since PM's visit to Vladivostok.

PM specifically mentioned the successful visits of our Minister of Defence and Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas to Russia. The two leaders noted with satisfaction that the USD 25 billion target of bilateral trade by 2025 has already been achieved. The two leaders decided that the 1st Bilateral Regional Forum at the level of Russian Provinces and Indian States be held next year to dismantle the barriers of trade at regional level.

The two leaders noted the stability and progress made in imports of oil and natural gas. President Putin highlighted the potential of Arctic region in natural gas and invited India to invest in the region. The two leaders also reviewed the progress made in the field of Infrastructure particularly railways in context of raising the speed of the Nagpur-Secunderabad sector railway line. The leaders also noted with satisfaction the cooperation in Defence sector and in the field of Civil Nuclear Energy. They welcomed the prospects of cooperation in civil nuclear energy in third countries.

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India And Russia Express Satisfaction That $25 Billion Target Of Bilateral Trade Has Been Achieved
 

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After India-US pact of 2016, India now set to sign path-breaking logistics support agreement with Russia

By Srinjoy Chowdhury | National Affairs Editor
Updated Jan 08, 2020 | 16:17 IST
1578593687547.png

The LEMOA or the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement between India and the United States was signed in 2016.

New Delhi: About five years after signing a path-breaking logistics support agreement with the United States, India is readying to sign an identical pact with the Russians.

The Reciprocal Exchange of Logistics Agreement (RELA) between India and Russia is ready for signing. Both sides have agreed to the conditions. An Indian naval ship, once it enters a Russian port, will be provided with fuel, food and water, lubricant and port services. Similar help will be given to IAF planes.

Besides, Indian service personnel who would avail of the RELA will get help with local transport. Payments will be calculated later; there will be no requirement for immediate payment. Russian ships and aircraft in Indian ports and airbases will get similar services as well.

This can happen during port visits, disaster relief work and exercises between the armed forces. Help with spare parts, communication and medical services are also part of the agreement.

With both countries agreeing, only legal vetting for minor irritants if there are any, and the signing remains. The RELA could be signed during a big visit, the Russians being particularly keen on the signing of such agreements during major bilateral visits, highly-placed government sources said. This could happen when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Russia later in the year or earlier.

The LEMOA or the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement between India and the United States was signed in 2016 by Manohar Parrikar, then defence minister and his American counterpart, Ashton Carter. India and France have also signed a similar agreement and this is particularly important keeping in mind the close military ties between the two countries.

After India-US pact of 2016, India now set to sign path-breaking logistics support agreement with Russia
 

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After India-US pact of 2016, India now set to sign path-breaking logistics support agreement with Russia

By Srinjoy Chowdhury | National Affairs Editor
Updated Jan 08, 2020 | 16:17 IST
View attachment 12905
The LEMOA or the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement between India and the United States was signed in 2016.

New Delhi: About five years after signing a path-breaking logistics support agreement with the United States, India is readying to sign an identical pact with the Russians.

The Reciprocal Exchange of Logistics Agreement (RELA) between India and Russia is ready for signing. Both sides have agreed to the conditions. An Indian naval ship, once it enters a Russian port, will be provided with fuel, food and water, lubricant and port services. Similar help will be given to IAF planes.

Besides, Indian service personnel who would avail of the RELA will get help with local transport. Payments will be calculated later; there will be no requirement for immediate payment. Russian ships and aircraft in Indian ports and airbases will get similar services as well.

This can happen during port visits, disaster relief work and exercises between the armed forces. Help with spare parts, communication and medical services are also part of the agreement.

With both countries agreeing, only legal vetting for minor irritants if there are any, and the signing remains. The RELA could be signed during a big visit, the Russians being particularly keen on the signing of such agreements during major bilateral visits, highly-placed government sources said. This could happen when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Russia later in the year or earlier.

The LEMOA or the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement between India and the United States was signed in 2016 by Manohar Parrikar, then defence minister and his American counterpart, Ashton Carter. India and France have also signed a similar agreement and this is particularly important keeping in mind the close military ties between the two countries.

After India-US pact of 2016, India now set to sign path-breaking logistics support agreement with Russia
This talk has been going on for a year.. Not yet signed .
 
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Our ties with New Delhi second to none: Russian envoy to India

WION
New Delhi, India
Jan 12, 2020, 03.23 PM(IST)
Written By: Sidhant Sibal
1578918287104.png

Russia's ambassador Nikolay Kudashev. Photograph: Twitter

Story highlights: Speaking to WION, Nikolay Kudashev said, 'Our relationship with India is second to none. This is a relationship which is a privileged strategic partnership.'

Reaffirming close India-Russia strategic ties, Russian envoy to India Nikolay Kudashev has said Moscow's ties with New Delhi is "second to none".

Speaking to WION, Kudashev said, "Our relationship with India is second to none. This is a relationship which is a privileged strategic partnership."

"We supply topmost technology and weapons, committed to Indian industries like nuclear," he added.

The comments come days before Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov's India visit next week. PM Modi will travel to Russia in May and a return visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin can be expected towards the end of the year.

On Kashmir, he reiterated his government's stand saying, "Kashmir is an internal matter of India, it belongs to the constitutional space of India. We always consider the internal affairs of your country."

When asked about the envoy's recent visit to the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Kudashev said, while he hasn't received an "official invitation" but "as far as India inviting other envoys are concerned, it is a sovereign matter of India. I do not feel obliged to comment on the matter."

"No doubt as far as geopolitics in Kashmir is concerned, if somebody has some doubts or issues, let them travel, it is my personal comment," he said.

Russia is also going to train Indian astronauts for the Gaganyaan programme the first Indian manned mission to space. On the programme, the envoy said, "space is established entity of our cooperation and we have been willing to contribute... based on our common conviction of peacefull and open outerspace".

Our ties with New Delhi second to none: Russian envoy to India
 
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India, Russia explore North Sea route

New Delhi | Updated onJanuary 14, 2020

India and Russia are looking at new means to further participation in the energy sector, according to Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan. In an official statement, Pradhan said, “We are keen to explore the new northern sea route to source crude oil and LNG through Russia’s Arctic. The route has the potential to cut the cost and time for transporting LNG from Russia to India. A sea line between Far-East Russia and the East coast of India will also facilitate sourcing of coking coal from the region.”

“We are working on the strategy to diversify our crude oil supply sources and we are now exploring ways to import crude from Russia as well,” he added. Speaking about co-operation between India and Russia in the oil and gas sector, Pradhan said, “We have strengthened our engagement in hydrocarbon sector. There is an ‘Energy Bridge’ between our two countries. With Russia being one of the largest producers of oil and natural gas and India being the world’s third largest energy consumer, Russia has the potential to become an important source to fulfil India’s oil and gas requirements.”

India, Russia explore North Sea route
 

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India, Russia initiate talks for long-term oil supply

Updated: Jan 15, 2020 05:42 IST
By Rezaul H Laskar & Rajeev Jayaswal
Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The talks on the Russian side are being handled by Rosneft, the largest global public oil and gas corporation, and by India’s petroleum ministry.
1579063861743.png

Russian President Vladimir Putin(Reuters file photo)

India and Russia have begun negotiations on an agreement for long-term assured supplies of crude oil, especially from Russia’s Far East region, as New Delhi looks to diversify its energy sources and do away with over-dependence on West Asia, people familiar with developments said.

The talks on the Russian side are being handled by Rosneft, the largest global public oil and gas corporation, and by India’s petroleum ministry.

The two sides are also eyeing an agreement on liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies from Russia after the agreement on crude oil is concluded, said people on both sides familiar with the negotiations. “The talks have focused on long-term assured supplies of oil that will not be affected by developments in other parts of the world, such as West Asia,” said a person who declined to be identified.

A second person said on condition of anonymity that the Indian government is working on an easier and economical sea transport route from Russia to India. “Transportation of energy [from Russia] is one of the key concerns, but we are working on a solution,” the person said.

The Russian side, the people said, is looking at tapping reserves in its Far East region, which 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 metres of gas.

The negotiations on oil and gas supplies are part of the five-year road map for cooperation in the hydrocarbons sector that was signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Vladivostok last September for the Eastern Economic Forum and the annual summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian gas producer Novatek also signed an agreement with Indian energy firm Petronet LNG Ltd (PLL) for LNG supply and joint development of downstream LNG business.

A joint statement issued after the Modi-Putin summit said the two sides would cooperate in geological exploration and joint development of oil and gas fields in Russia and India, and develop ways of delivering Russian energy resources to India, “including a long-term deal for sourcing Russian crude oil”.

The second person said India imports over 80% of the crude it processes. It imports almost half of its crude oil requirements from the Gulf region, which is prone to disruptions because of geopolitical reasons. “This often threatens our energy security, both in terms of price and supply volatilities. Energy import from Russia is, a reliable alternative,” he said.

Though India has a refining capacity of 249.4 MT, annual capacity utilisation has been often more than 100%. In 2018-19 domestic refiners processed 257.2 MT of crude in 2018-19. Out of that more than 88% (226.5 MT) was imported crude, and more than 63% of that (142.9 MT) came from West Asia.

“India is looking for reliable and economical alternatives; especially after the US embargo against Iran. Russia could be one such alternative,” the person said.

India, Russia initiate talks for long-term oil supply
 

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Working with India on pact against unilateral US Sanctions: Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister

By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury, ET Bureau | Updated: Jan 15, 2020, 09.01 AM IST
1579070493117.png


Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov is on a visit to India to set the tone for five planned meetings between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin in 2020, including at the 20th edition of the bilateral annual summit. In an exclusive interview to ET, he said India and Russia are vigorously working to conclude an agreement on mutual protection of investments from unilateral sanctions by the United States.

What areas of cooperation will be in the focus of your visit to India and will determine the strategic partnership between the two states in 2020? What do you think about the Indian-Russian cooperation in general ?

This is a special year for our countries. Twenty years ago, India and Russia signed the Declaration on Strategic Partnership.

Developing relations with New Delhi is among our absolute foreign policy priorities. I am pleased to state that the Indian-Russian relations are characterized by self-sufficiency, not being subject to the influence of "ever-changing foreign policy winds". And this is vividly evidenced by regular leaders’ meetings and increasing contacts at all levels. Further strengthening of our multi-faceted cooperation is in the fundamental interests of our peoples and in line with the task of enhancing international and regional security and stability. I am convinced that our Indian friends share similar logic.

During the visit, we plan to discuss with our colleagues topical issues on the bilateral agenda, primarily taking into account the results of the Indian-Russian summit that was held on September 4-5 last year in Vladivostok. The discussions will be mainly focused on the prospects of increasing trade and economic cooperation which is the foundation for expanding the entire system of the Indian-Russian partnership. Certainly, we are interested in a constructive exchange of views on the key issues of our time.

I also plan to take part in the Raisina Dialogue annual international political conference.

How can India and Russia protect their interests in trade and investment, including in the defense sector, from unilateral sanctions ?


Against the background of the increasingly aggressive use of financial sanctions by the U.S. Administration, Russia continues its policy aimed at gradual de-dollarization of the economy. Together with our main partners, including India, we work on developing economic and legal mechanisms to reduce the negative impact of restrictions on bilateral trade and investment ties.

Expanding settlements in national currencies is one of our priorities. Relevant intergovernmental agreements on settlements and payments were concluded with China and Turkey last June and October. Within BRICS, agreements were reached on the mutual opening by the Central Banks of relevant correspondent accounts. We consider that de-pegging from the dollar in mutual settlements is an objective response to the unpredictability of the U.S. economic policy and the outright abuse by Washington of the dollar's status as a world reserve currency.

Currently, New Delhi and Moscow are vigorously working to prepare a new intergovernmental agreement on the mutual protection of investments, which will by far increase investor protection for both sides. The agreement on a free trade zone between the Eurasian Economic Union and India which is currently being negotiated should also contribute to this.

India is interested in foreign investments, including from Russia, for implementing the Make in India programme. What could attract Russian entrepreneurs? How could both sides realize the unfulfilled potential of the economic partnership ?

Full investment cooperation is essential to the development of the whole complex of bilateral relations. This topic has traditionally been one of the central issues on the agenda of the Indian-Russian negotiations, including at the highest level. A broad range of coordination mechanisms is at our disposal, allowing for customization of the individual parameters of our interaction taking into account the traditionally close cooperation between our countries and good prospects for its development. Paying heed to the wishes of the business community, we seek to create the most favourable environment enabling Russian businesses to enter the Indian market. We are confident that our Indian partners intend to do the same.

We maintain fruitful cooperation in strategic areas. Russian companies are ready to actively join in the Make in India programme. They certainly have a stake in the harmonization and optimization of the import and export procedures, as well as facilitation and standardization of technical, sanitary and phytosanitary requirements. Yet, India's asymmetrical tax treatment of foreign business as compared to the regime enjoyed by Indian entrepreneurs in Russia remains the sticking point. Consultations on the removal of trade barriers are underway to make our domestic markets more attractive for mutual investments.

Today, such tasks as qualitatively improving the bilateral trade pattern and shifting its focus from commodities to high value-added products are taking priority. We need to move forward, build a portfolio of joint projects, forging new technological alliances in advanced, knowledge-intensive industries.

What new areas of the Indian-Russian bilateral as well as multilateral cooperation involving third countries could be developed in the energy sector ?


India is the third largest energy consumer in the world, while Russia is one of the world's key producers of hydrocarbons. Thus, the strategic interests of our countries in this area coincide.

We are establishing cooperation in geological exploration, joint development of oil and gas fields in the territory of the two countries, including offshore projects, which will eventually allow India to become the first non-Arctic state extracting resources in the Arctic. Specifically, Indian companies participate in the development of oil and gas fields under the Sakhalin-1 project, as well as the Vankor oil and gas condensate field. The Rosneft oil company, in its turn, is a shareholder in one of the region's largest refineries, Vadinar.

We are looking into ways of improving the energy supply routes from Russia to Indian partners. Relevant agencies are studying the prospects for expanding cooperation in hydro- and heat power industry, energy efficiency, as well as in the design and construction of facilities that generate energy from renewable sources.

The Kudankulam nuclear power plant is the flagship project of our peaceful atom cooperation. We are working to develop energy cooperation in a trilateral format, following the example of the Ruppur nuclear power plant project in Bangladesh.

Working with India on pact against unilateral US Sanctions: Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister