New Delhi: In a major boost to their energy ties, India and Russia today launched a working group for creating an “energy bridge” for a possible direct gas delivery from Russia and also directed their concerned ministries to finalise “concrete outcomes” in key areas of trade and investment by the next month’s summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The discussions were held during the 22nd Indo-Russia interGovernmental Commission meeting today which were co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. “The Intergovernmental Commission reviewed the preparations for the forthcoming India-Russia Annual Summit to be held in Goa on 15 October 2016.
“While expressing satisfaction at the progress made in regard to some projects, the Commission also directed concerned Ministries and departments to focus on key sectors in the trade and investment spheres to finalise concrete outcomes by the forthcoming summit in October 2016,” MEA said after the meeting. Noting that there has been substantial progress on the investment front with expanding cooperation in oil and gas sphere, MEA in a release said Indian and Russian oil and gas companies are working towards finalisation of investments in each other’s countries.
“Both sides launched an industry level Working Group – led by Gazprom, biggest Russian gas company, and a consortium of Indian oil and gas companies- for creating an ‘energy bridge’ between the two countries through possible gas pipelines for direct gas delivery from Russia to India,” it said. India and Russia reiterated their strong desire to further broaden their strategic cooperation with emphasis on key sectors such as nuclear energy, space, modernisation, high technology, disaster management, and supercomputing.
Asserting that a new milestone was recently achieved in the India-Russia cooperation in nuclear energy with the dedication of Unit 1 of the Kudankulam nuclear power project by Modi and Putin last month, it said the two sides renewed their commitment to work together on remaining stages of Kudankulam 2,3,4,5 and 6; and other projects through localisation under the Make in India programme.
Stating that connectivity was a major theme of discussion during the meeting, it noted that implementation of the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) project and the launch of the ‘Green Corridor’ project for customs facilitation are major steps towards better connectivity and trade facilitation.
Cooperation between Indian and Russian railways in the field of dedicated freight corridor, modernisation of railway stations, and training of railway personnel emerged as a new area to broaden cooperation in transports and logistics, it added. .