India and Russia discussed the strengthening of maritime partnership through avenues of bilateral collaboration in ship design and building, repair, logistics, Maintenance Repair and Operations (MRO), inland waterways, and ports sectors.
This was discussed in a webinar held between Russian Deputy Minister Industry & Trade – Oleg Ryazantsev and Indian Minister of State for Shipping and Chemical & Fertilizers – Mansukh Mandaviya.
The two sides are exploring the joint effort in building civilian naval ships including repair facilities. Besides that, India and Russia have also agreed on opening up the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) which will connect Mumbai with St Petersburg via the Indian Ocean and then via Iran and Azerbaijan.
The revival of the Chennai-Vladivostok shipping links is also on the cards. The link existed during the Soviet era that connected Chennai and Vladivostok in 24 days compared to over 40 days currently taken to transport goods from India to Far East Russia via Europe.
This will enable faster shipment of cargo. While this is a boost to India’s Act Far East policy, Russia is also eyeing to expand its footprint in the region which is currently limited.
Indian Ambassador to Russia – D.B. Venkatesh Varma who also addressed the webinar emphasized the immense opportunities for bilateral cooperation.
The participants of the webinar included the Chairpersons of Chennai Port Trust and IWAI, Secretary Shipping, Trade Commissioner of Russia to India. “Hon’ble MoS @mansukhmandviya and Dy Minister Industry & Trade Oleg Ryazantsev chaired a special webinar on Shipping Sector today, discussing avenues of collaboration in ship design & building, repair, logistics, MRO, inland waterways, ports sectors between India and Russia,” Indian Embassy in Russia tweeted.
New Delhi is also looking forward to exploring the connectivity corridor between resource-rich Arctic Region and INSTC. The Arctic is rich in petroleum and mineral resources and is currently the source of about one-tenth of the world’s oil and a quarter of its natural gas.
The Russian Arctic produces about 80 percent of this oil and virtually all of the natural gas. The most developed sector of the region, the Russian Arctic also holds abundant deposits of nickel, copper, coal, gold, uranium, tungsten, and diamonds.