Trade and ‘saturation’ of Indian market with Russian fertilisers will be on agenda when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Uzbekistan Friday, the Kremlin has said.
The meeting will take place on the sidelines of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
“There are plans to discuss issues of ‘saturation’ of the Indian market with Russian fertilisers and bilateral food supplies,” the Kremlin said in its handout of materials for the meeting, according to news agency Reuters.
The two leaders are also expected to discuss issues of strategic stability, the situation in the Asia Pacific region and bilateral cooperation within the UN and G20.
“A conversation on the international agenda with Modi will also take place, the sides will discuss issues of strategic stability, the situation in the Asia Pacific Region, and, of course, cooperation within major multilateral formats, such as the UN, the G20 and the SCO,” the official Russian news agency TASS quoted Presidential Aide Yuri Ushakov as saying, reported news agency PTI.
“This is particularly important, because India will preside in the UN Security Council in December, and, in 2023, India will lead the SCO and will also chair the G20,” Ushakov told reporters on Tuesday.
The Ministry of External Affairs has not yet confirmed the meeting between Prime Minister Modi and President Putin.
This meeting will take place against the backdrop of India buying crude oil from Russia, which has been facing sanctions from the West for its invasion of Ukraine.
India has consistently defended its position, with External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar saying that Indians cannot afford high energy prices.
“I have a country with per capita income of $2,000. These aren’t the people who can afford higher energy prices. It is my obligation and moral duty to ensure that I get them the best deal that I can,” said Mr Jaishankar.
He said countries, including the US, know India’s position and will “move on with that”.
Meanwhile, the trade turnover between Russia and India is growing – in the first six months of 2022, the figure reached $11.5 billion, adding about 120 per cent year-on-year, a report by Russian agency TASS said.
(With inputs from agencies)