India, Russia discuss ₹-Ruble trade

India, Russia discuss ₹-Ruble trade

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Russian Deputy Prime Minister, who is also the Minister of Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov, met in Moscow on Tuesday to discuss expanding economic partnership, including smoothening mechanism for trade in national currencies and increasing Indian exports and investments in Russia. On the occasion, New Delhi and Moscow signed a pact for additional units at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project besides pacts for and in areas of medicines, pharmaceutical substances and medical devices.Jaishankar met Manturov on day two of his five-day visit to Russia on the eve of his meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Considerable focus was given to connectivity initiatives and India’s presence in the Russian Far East at the Manturov-Jaishankar meet. The two ministers held wide-ranging discussions on measures to boost business and trade partnership including increasing Indian investments in Russia to meet growing demands across sectors in the backdrop of sanctions, it has been learnt. This was the second meeting between Manturov and Jaishankar this year. The Russian DPM had travelled to India earlier this year.On Tuesday, the two ministers also explored the early conclusion of FTA between India and Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Iran recently concluded a full FTA with the EAEU.Taking to X Jaishankar wrote, “A comprehensive and productive meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov of Russia on our bilateral economic cooperation. Noted the significant progress in trade, finance, connectivity, energy, civil aviation and nuclear domains.””Appreciated the greater focus on exploring new opportunities. Discussed making our cooperation more balanced and sustainable in different dimensions. Finalized the program of cooperation on the Russian Far East. Expect to hold an early meeting of EaEU-India FTA negotiators. Will jointly organize connectivity events across land and maritime corridors,” Jaishankar wrote on X announcing outcomes of the meeting. India and Russia trade has reached unprecedented levels over the past two years. Since the start of the Ukraine conflict, Rupee-Ruble trade has faced obstacles due to accumulation of Indian currency by the Russian side in India. While Russia has started investing in India from the accumulated rupee, it is seeking an increase in Indian investments across sectors.However, the process has smoothened to an extent over the last few months. Attempts are also being made to smoothen the payment transfer mechanism which was impacted by sanctions after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Russia is seeking India’s green signal in implementing the Rupay-Mir card and a link between Russian online financial transfer system and India’s system.Russian President Vladimir Putin recently pitched for use of more national currencies in India-Russia bilateral trade and called for ensuring smoother financial transactions between the two countries without any obstacles.Putin had also called for increasing mutual investments in pharmacy, manufacturing and industry, and referred to the sharp increase in India-Russia bilateral trade since 2022 and hailed India’s energy purchases from Russia despite external pressure.Meanwhile, announcing Jaishankar-Lavrov meeting in Moscow on Wednesday, the Russian foreign ministry stated that the foreign ministers of Russia and India will focus on current and prospective areas of bilateral cooperation, as well as discuss the schedule of upcoming contacts. The main emphasis will be on assisting in the further development of sustainable transport and logistics, and banking and financial chains, as well as expanding the use of national currencies in mutual settlements. Issues related to cooperation in high-tech areas, including space and nuclear, and joint projects for the development of hydrocarbons in the Arctic shelf and the Russian Far East, are also planned to be addressed.They will discuss the priorities of Russia’s chairmanship in BRICS in the coming year. An in-depth exchange of views is expected on the formation of a just security architecture in the Asia-Pacific region, the situations in Ukraine and Afghanistan, as well as the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation, according to the Russian foreign ministry statement.Moscow and New Delhi are committed to multipolarity as an essential factor in maintaining balance in the world order that has emerged over the past decades. Russia supports Global South countries in defending political and economic sovereignty, the statement affirmed.

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