Russia Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev and Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar met in New Delhi on Wednesday for talks that were aimed at paving the way for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to Russia in September. Modi will be attending the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.
Trutnev, who is also the presidential envoy to the Russian Far East, has come to India just days after Modi met Russian president Vladimir Putin in Bishkek on the sidelines of the regional Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
The two leaders had then spoken of increasing Indian investment in the Russian Far East, an area that is resource rich but also sparsely populated.
“The visit was undertaken to help both sides prepare grounds for the visit of Prime Minister to Vladivostok in early September to participate in the 5th edition of the Eastern Economic Forum as the Chief Guest of the event," a statement from the Indian foreign ministry said.
“The visit also provided opportunity to explore bilateral cooperation in the sectors of Diamond-processing, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Coal and mining, Agro-processing and Tourism which have been identified as the priority areas for development in the Russian Far East. Both sides agreed to work together to promote their bilateral economic engagement in the Russian Far East," the statement further said.
According to analysts, Russia has also invited Japan and South Korea to invest in the region, which has seen the influx of a large amount of Chinese investment and people. The invitation to India is seen as a subtle message to China about Russia’s wariness of the overwhelming numbers of Chinese in the region, analysts say.
Among his official engagements in New Delhi, Trutnev held meetings with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan. Trutnev also met Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog, the government’s policy think tank.
Before reaching New Delhi, Trutnev travelled to Mumbai where he interacted with prominent Indian industry representatives and had meetings with Indian companies having business interests in the Russian Far East, the Indian Foreign Ministry statement added.