Ambassador Pavan Kapoor, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld

India seeks 'more balanced' trade with Russia: Ambassador Pavan Kapoor

Moscow: India welcomes the growth in trade with Russia which has reached $27 trillion this year, mainly due to the purchase of large volumes of oil and fertilizers from Moscow, but wants New Delhi to be more “balanced”, India’s ambassador to Moscow Pavan. Kapoor said.

Russia has become India’s major oil supplier. India’s appetite for Russian oil has grown since it began trading at a discount as the West rejected it to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia emerged as India’s fifth largest trading partner with bilateral trade worth USD 22.7 billion during the six months from April to September this fiscal year.

“Trade has grown significantly since April this year, mainly because our country has bought huge amounts of oil and fertilisers,” Kapoor said at a forum on Thursday.

“Trade reached USD 27 million. However, the trend is positive [we] would like to be bilateral, like [trade] While it cost 25 million dollars from Russia [trade] Only $2 billion from India was the same,” the diplomat said, adding that the Indian side “would like it to be more balanced,” Russian state news agency TASS reported.

This situation seems logical because there are many other markets where goods arrive in Russia from other parts of the world, Kapoor noted.

“But I would like to make a suggestion for Russian businessmen to consider India as the main source of their activities. This includes not only pharmaceuticals, but also agricultural products, ceramics and chemicals,” he said.

If businessmen are willing to take this message to interested parties, it would be a good protection for India, he said.

“We are trying to do as many transactions as possible in national currencies, and this requires a balanced trade, while one side accumulates more, the other. [accumulates] less, and we should find solutions to this situation,” said Kapoor.

In 2021-22, Russia was India’s 25th largest trading partner with bilateral trade of USD 13.12 billion. Exports totaled 3.25 billion dollars, while imports totaled 9.9 billion dollars during the same period.

India and Russia have pledged to expand economic engagement, with New Delhi including imports of petroleum products from the “time-tested” partner.

During his first visit to Moscow in November, after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said Indo-Russian relations are “enduring exceptions” and “time-tested”.

He said the goal is to create a contemporary, balanced, beneficial, sustainable and long-term engagement between the two sides.

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