India may become the first non-Arctic state to extract resources from the Arctic, thanks to cooperation with Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Times of India.
“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.”
Lavrov underlined that the two countries already have several joint projects:
“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.”
Work is currently on-going to make energy supply routes from Russia to India better, and there are plans to expand 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.
In addition, in terms of nuclear energy, Lavrov praised the Kudankulam NPP.
“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.”
India could join the Arctic LNG project led by Russian energy giant Novatek, according to India’s Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan.
“We are also studying the opportunities to participate in the future Novatek project in the Arctic. We are looking into all the opportunities to get LNG from this region,” the minister said.
The interest in Russian gas supplies comes as India turns away from joint projects with neighboring Pakistan.
New Delhi refused to sign a memorandum of understanding on the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline construction due to increasing tension with Pakistan.
“We don’t want to deal with Pakistan. We are more interested in Russian LNG,” Pradhan said.
Sergey Lavrov said that relations with India remained as one of the country’s top priorities in terms of foreign policy.
“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.”
The Indian-Russian Summit will take place in Vladivostok between September 4th and 5th and is sure to also result in quite a bit of concluded deals and agreements of various sorts.
Both countries also need to protect their interests, specifically against the ramping up for US economic 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.”
New Delhi and Moscow are working on a new intergovernmental agreement on the mutual protection of investments.
“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.”
This is yet another example of how US foreign policy is pushing countries closer to each other and further away from Washington and undermining its own hegemony.
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