Russian, Indian Foreign Ministries Hold First Economic Consultations

For the first time, the Foreign Ministries of Russia and India held consultations on economic issues in New Delhi. The Russian party was represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Denisov.

The parties gave their assessment to the globalisation process, the state and outlook for the world financial architecture reform, and the economic situation in the world, as well as bilateral economic co-operation, he said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

They paid special attention to Russia's admission to the World Trade Organisation, or WTO.

The two parties consider the talks as "successful in every respect", according to Denisov.

When touching upon the realisation of joint economic projects, first of all in the energy sphere, the deputy minister pointed out that the Indian party considered Russia "a promising partner in this area and had certain plans concerning the improvement of the current energy supply system in India". Thus, India showed its interest in direct energy resources deliveries from Russia.

It is especially important taking into account the fact that the Indian economy has been developing quite dynamically, with growing demand for energy resources and the need to diversify their sources. At the same time, the political situation in the neighbouring regions, for example, in Pakistan, does not always allow using the sources that otherwise would be the easiest for access, Denisov emphasised. Moreover, India "is not yet ready to cross the threshold that separates political risk from economic one", he added.

The Indian party was also interested in the prospects of energy co-operation between Russia and China, the diplomat said. He did not rule out a possibility of multilateral projects in the sphere in a long-term.

The talks also touched upon bilateral trade and economic relations, as the time for India to repay its debt to Russia in rupees had expired. When considering the matter, the parties tried to find "a political incentive to look for ways of eliminating possible negative consequences after going over to hard currency," Denisov pointed out. In this connection, they paid special attention to the development of banking co-operation, as direct bank contacts between the two countries will allow reducing the expenses of servicing trade.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team