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India, Russia to work for unlocking full potential of economic ties

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NEW DELHI: India and Russia on Tuesday agreed to work towards unlocking the full potential of their economic engagement including through addressing the trade deficit and market access issues.

The two sides reviewed the entire gamut of economic ties at a meeting of the India-Russia Inter-governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC).

The bilateral trade between India and Russia witnessed a significant expansion due to New Delhi’s increasing procurement of discounted Russian crude oil in the backdrop of the Ukraine war.

The IRIGC-TEC meeting was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov.

Manturov, who is also Russia’s minister for trade and industry, visited India to attend the 24th session of the IRIGC-TEC. He was accompanied by senior representatives from several Russian ministries.

“The sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral trade and economic relationship, and agreed to work together to unlock its full potential including through addressing the trade deficit and market access issues,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

The assertion to address the trade deficit came a day after Jaishankar called for urgently addressing India’s trade imbalance with Russia.

In presence of Manturov, the external affairs minister, addressing an India-Russia Business Dialogue, said on Monday that finding a solution to the imbalance really means addressing the impediments such as market access issues, non tariff barriers and those relating to payments or logistics.

At the event, Jaishankar said the India-Russia trade volume was about USD 45 billion for the period April 2022 to February 2023.

India’s trade deficit with Russia jumped significantly in the last few months after it procured significant volumes of discounted crude oil from that country.

During his two-day visit, Manturov also held bilateral meetings with Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

“On April 17, India-Russia Business Dialogue was held with participation of major businesses from both sides which enabled the co-chairs and business leaders to engage and drive the momentum of shared priorities of deeper and wider bilateral commercial cooperation,” the MEA said.

It said Manturov’s visit is in continuation of the regular high-level dialogue between the two sides.

Jaishankar had last visited Russia in November 2022.

India has been focusing on expansion of trade and economic ties with Russia notwithstanding increasing disquiet over it by the Western powers in view of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In his address at the business dialogue on Monday, Jaishankar said India-Russia relationship is among the “steadiest” of the major global relations. (PTI)

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