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Indian Narendra Modi wants to strengthen energy and other relations with Russia

Indian Narendra Modi wants to strengthen energy and other relations with Russia

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets Russian President Vladimir Putin during a welcoming ceremony October 5, 2018 in New Delhi, India.

Mikhail Svetlov | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday he wanted to strengthen ties with Russia, even as the country has been sidelined from the international community following its war in Ukraine.

During an online address to the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, Modi referred to a “special partnership” between the two countries and expressed a particular interest in strengthening their cooperation on energy and of coking coal.

The Indian leader also highlighted the impact of Covid-19 and the Russian-Ukrainian war on global supply chains, and called for “diplomacy and dialogue” to end the conflict.

“In today’s globalized world, events in one part of the world impact the whole world,” Modi said, in a translation first reported by the Hindustan Times.

“The conflict in Ukraine and the Covid pandemic have had a major impact on global supply chains. Shortages of food grains, fertilizers and fuel are a matter of great concern for developing countries,” said- he continued.

“From the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, we have stressed the need to adopt the path of diplomacy and dialogue. We support all peaceful efforts to end this conflict,” Modi added.

Western allies step up pressure on Russia

The comments come as Western allies seek to step up their economic pressure on Russia.

Last Friday, the G-7 announced its intention to impose a cap on the price of Russian oil in an attempt to limit the Kremlin’s ability to finance its attack on Ukraine. However, to be successful, members said the initiative would require buy-in from the wider international community, especially major economies such as India and China.

India, which has increased its purchases of Russian oil following the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, has so far refused to be held to account.

Speaking to CNBC on Monday, India’s Oil Minister Shri Hardeep Singh Puri said the country would look at the proposals “very carefully” but added that he felt no moral obligation to sign up.

Watch CNBC's full interview with India's Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri

“No, there is no conflict. I have a moral duty to my consumer. As a democratically elected government, do I want a situation where the gas pump runs out?” Puri to CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at Gastech 2022 in Milan, Italy.

At the end of March, Russia accounted for just 0.2% of India’s oil imports, according to Puri, the vast majority of the country’s oil consumption – 5 million barrels a day – comes from Iraq, Arabia Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Emirates.

Still, Modi in his speech on Wednesday heralded the growing economic ties between India and Russia. Specifically, he welcomed the 2019 launch of the “Act Far-East” policy, which saw India extend a $1 billion line of credit to the resource-rich region for energy development. , diamonds and pharmaceuticals.

“This policy has become a major pillar of the special and privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia,” he said.

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