Russia can play a major role in India’s development as a self-reliant nation, MoS External Affairs V Muraleedharan said

To further strengthen their already flourishing relations, India and Russia have decided to expand their cooperative partnerships to agriculture, coking coal, pharma & health sector, digital & IT sectors and connectivity projects. The Economic Times has reported that both countries are now planning to explore areas other than defence, energy, nuclear and space.

At the India-Russia Young Scholar International Conference 2020 held recently, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan suggested that the countries are planning to reduce trade barriers and forging free trade agreements will be one of the steps towards expanding the relationships.

“Apart from the traditional pillars, we are working together to explore potential areas of cooperation in areas like agriculture, coking coal, pharma & health sector, digital & IT sectors, exchange of skilled manpower, cooperation between the regions including in the Far East, cooperation in the Arctic, logistics and connectivity. Our joint efforts towards gradual reduction of trade barriers and forging free trade agreements would have a multiplier effect in this direction,” the report quoted the minister saying.

According to the minister, Russia can play a major role in India’s development as a ‘Self-Reliant’ or ‘Atmanirbhar’ nation. He said that as the largest democracy, India has emerged as the fifth largest economy in the world and now it’s time to make it self-reliant.

He said, “India is making efforts to be self-reliant by re-orienting its terms of engagement to become part of global value chains -’Make in India’ to ‘Make for the World.’ We look forward to close cooperation with Russia as we make strides in our efforts”.

India and Russia enjoy cordial relationships in terms of trade and defence partnerships. India-Russia relations stand on sectors like defence, energy, nuclear and space for the past 20 years and seem to be only going up with investments partnerships and joint production in these areas, The Economic Times reported citing the minister.

“Our joint efforts have led to more than 40% increase in mutual trade with an upward trend in both imports & exports. This upward trajectory was challenged by COVID imposed restrictions, but we are seeing a gradual recovery,” V Muraleedharan said.

Referring to India’s election to a non-permanent seat of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), he said that the diplomatic relations between the countries are also flourishing. A non-permanent seat at UNSC will provide India and Russia with more opportunities to coordinate efforts on pressing issues of global concern.

Read the full report in The Economic Times