PM Modi's visit to Moscow expected to yield 'tangible outcomes' in many areas: Indian envoy to Russia

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In this Monday, Dec. 6, 2021 file image Prime Minister Narendra Modi receives Russian President Vladimir Putin for a meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi.

In this Monday, Dec. 6, 2021 file image Prime Minister Narendra Modi receives Russian President Vladimir Putin for a meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi.

Moscow: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Russia and his talks with President Vladimir Putin will focus on bilateral trade and economic ties and in some new areas of scientific and technological research, the Indian Ambassador to Russia has said, expressing confidence that the talks will yield "tangible outcomes" in many areas.

Prime Minister Modi will be in Moscow from July 8 to 9 at the invitation of President Putin for the 22nd India-Russia Annual Summit. It will be Modi's first visit to Russia since Moscow invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

The two leaders will review the entire range of multifaceted relations between the two countries and exchange views on contemporary regional and global issues of mutual interest, the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi on Thursday while announcing the high-level visit starting on Monday.

Speaking to PTI Videos on Modi's visit, Indian Ambassador to Russia Vinay Kumar said that extensive dialogue on trade, economic and investment cooperation and connectivity will be a key focus of discussions during Modi's visit.

"This is a part of annual summits that the two countries have and hence the agenda would be an entire range of issues in our bilateral relationship," Kumar said.

Asked about likely decisions in the areas of energy and defence, Kumar said "We have a set of documents that we are working on. Some of those agreements relate to trade and economic ties and also in some new areas of connectivity, and scientific and technological research. So I expect that we would have tangible outcomes in many of these areas."

Kumar agreed that trade imbalance remained a major area that needed to be addressed, and the matter is likely to be discussed during the prime minister's visit.

An uptick in bilateral trade "has created a situation of significant deficit for India," he said while expressing hope that some decisions are likely to address the issue.

"So we will be discussing these issues and also work on expanding the trade basket, commodity-wise as well as volume-wise. Some new areas of exports include agricultural and processed food products, automobile components, engineering goods, and pharmaceuticals," he said.

This will be Modi's first visit to Russia in nearly five years. His last visit to Russia was in 2019 when he attended an economic conclave in the Far East city of Vladivostok.

The annual summit between the Prime Minister of India and the President of Russia is the highest institutional dialogue mechanism in the strategic partnership between the two countries.

So far, 21 annual summits have taken place alternately in India and Russia.

The last summit was held on December 6, 2021, in New Delhi. President Vladimir Putin had visited India to attend the summit.

India's import of discounted Russian crude oil has also gone up significantly notwithstanding the G7 price cap and increasing disquiet over the procurement in many Western capitals.

As per figures of the Department of Commerce, in FY 2023-24, bilateral trade has reached an all-time high of USD 65.70 billion, according to the Indian Embassy, Russia.

Major items of export from India include pharmaceuticals, organic chemicals, electrical machinery and mechanical appliances, iron & steel, while major items of import from Russia include oil and petroleum products, fertilizers, mineral resources, precious stones and metals, vegetable oils, etc.