Moscow, Aug 29: Petroleum and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday discussed with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev prospects of expanding cooperation in energy and steel sectors, including investments in the Arctic and the Far East by Indian state-owned oil companies. "Russia is an important energy partner for India in its objective of diversification of energy sourcing... We discussed to expand the scope of co-operation between India and Far Eastern Russia in the energy and steel sector," the minister said in a Twitter post.
With Trutnev, who is President Valdimir Putin's envoy to Far Eastern Federal Districts, Pradhan also "discussed scopes of investment in each other’s economy". Indian firms have invested $10 billion in acquiring stakes in hydrocarbon assets in Russia. Also, a consortium led by Russia’s Rosneft PJSC acquired Essar Oil for nearly $13 billion. Rosneft has proposed new investment in refining and petrochemical operations. India and Russia have a long history of cooperation in steel sector.
Pradhan, who is leading a business delegation from oil and gas as well as steel sectors, said both sides "deliberated on further strengthening relations in the sector in areas of coking coal sourcing, technology transfer, skill development etc." Late on Wednesday, an official statement in New Delhi said the steel sector was "exploring ways to ensure raw material securitisation for its stakeholders". The statement also said that Pradhan's discussions would focus on further strengthening bilateral energy cooperation, including in coal sector.
Pradhan is visiting Moscow ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming trip to Vladivostok to participate in the 5th Annual Eastern Economic Forum as the Chief Guest and the 20th Annual Bilateral Summit between the two countries during the first week of September 2019.(UNI)