India, Russia ties have stood test of time: PM Modi at Eastern Economic Forum
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that the friendship between India and Russia has stood the test of time and was seen in “our robust cooperation during the Covid-19 pandemic, including in the area of vaccines” recently. PM Modi also pointed out that energy is another major pillar of the strategic partnership between the two countries. “India-Russia energy partnership can help bring stability to the global energy market,” PM Modi said in his virtual address during the 6th Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) Summit in Vladivostok.
“In Indian history and civilisation, the word “Sangam” has a special meaning. It means confluence, or coming together of rivers, peoples or ideas. In my view, Vladivostok is truly a sangam of Eurasia and the Pacific,” the Prime Minister also said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was present during the address. PM Modi was the chief guest at the EEF in 2019 and he mentioned his last visit to the country in his address. "In 2019, when I had visited Vladivostok to attend the Forum, I had announced India’s commitment to an Act Far East policy. This policy is an important part of our Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership with Russia,” the Prime Minister added.
PM Modi also extended an invitation for the governors of the 11 regions of the Russian Far East to visit India at the earliest. “India has a talented and dedicated workforce, while the Far East is rich in resources. So, there is tremendous scope for Indian talent to contribute to the development of the Russian Far East,” he added.
Oil minister Hardeep Singh Puri is in Russia to participate in the Eastern Economic Forum summit as India looks to strengthen its association with the mineral-rich region of Russia. Puri during his five-day visit will meet Nikolay Shulginov, the Russian minister of energy, and the Russian minister for development of Far East and Arctic, Alexei Chekunkov, to discuss the collaboration between Indian and Russian companies in that region," the ministry said in a statement. "India and Russia have robust and growing bilateral energy cooperation, which is a key pillar of Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between the two countries," it said.
Russia is the largest investment destination for the Indian oil and gas companies and Indian public sector companies have made investments in Russia of about $16 billion, including in the Far East and East Siberia, in oil and gas assets such as Sakhalin-1, Vankor and Taas-Yuryakh. Russia is also the largest investor in India's oil and gas sector.