Home / News / World /  Russia to intensify use of rouble in trade with India, other partners

Russia to intensify use of rouble in trade with India, other partners

A statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the two sides emphasised the need for keeping the bilateral economic, technological and people-to-people contacts stable and predictable. (ANI)Premium
A statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the two sides emphasised the need for keeping the bilateral economic, technological and people-to-people contacts stable and predictable. (ANI)

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in New Delhi that rouble payment system was started for trade with countries like India and China many years ago and the payment system will now be intensified

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday said Russia has begun moving towards conducting trade in national currencies with India and other friendly countries to bypass the "impediments" of western sanctions and resolved to address New Delhi's requirement of oil, military equipment and other goods.

He made the comments after holding wide-ranging talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar that covered implications of the crisis in Ukraine on India-Russia ties as well as ways to continue cooperation in diverse fields, including trade, investment and defence.

The Russian foreign minister's assertion at a media briefing on using national currencies to bypass western restrictions came a day after the US warned of consequences for countries over attempts to "circumvent" American sanctions against Moscow.

US Deputy National Security Adviser Daleep Singh also said on Wednesday that Washington would not like to see a "rapid" acceleration in India's import of energy and other commodities from Russia.

Asked whether putting into place a rouble-rupee payment system was discussed in his talks with Jaishankar, Lavrov said such an arrangement was started for trade with countries like India and China many years ago and the payment system will now be intensified.

"I would recall that many years ago, we started moving in our relations with India, China (and) many other countries from using dollars and euros to more and more use of national currencies. Under the current circumstances, this trend I believe will be intensified, which is natural and obvious," he said.

"We don't want to depend on a system which would be closed anytime and we don't want to depend on a system whose masters can steal your money overnight," Lavrov said.

He talked about the "very good relations" between the ministries concerned in India and Russia to ensure the continuation of bilateral trade, notwithstanding the western sanctions.

"We have very good relations between the trade ministries, the ministries of finance, and I have no doubt that a way would be found to bypass the artificial impediments, which illegal and unilateral sanctions by the West create," Lavrov said.

"This relates also to the area of military-technical cooperation. We have no doubt that the solution would be found and the respective ministries are working on it," he added.

On whether the issue of India's willingness to procure larger volumes of crude oil from Russia was discussed, Lavrov said, "We will be ready to supply to India any goods which India wants to buy."

A statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the two sides emphasised the need for keeping the bilateral economic, technological and people-to-people contacts "stable and predictable".

"The ministers assessed the overall state of cooperation. They considered the implications of recent developments on trade and economic relations," the MEA said.

It said Jaishankar underlined that as a developing economy, global volatility in different domains is of particular concern to India.

"It is important for both countries that their economic, technological and people to people contacts remain stable and predictable," it said.

After his talks with Jaishankar, Lavrov called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

An official statement said Modi conveyed to the Russian foreign minister that India stands ready to contribute in any way to the peace efforts to resolve the conflict in Ukraine and called for an early cessation of violence in the east European country.

At the media briefing ahead of his meeting with Modi, Lavrov said India, with its "just and rational" approach towards international problems, can support the peace efforts if it chooses to play such a role.

He also said no pressure can affect Russia's partnership with India and that his talks with Jaishankar reflected the depth of the special and privileged strategic partnership between the two sides.

"Foreign Minister Lavrov briefed the prime minister on the situation in Ukraine, including the ongoing peace negotiations," the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a statement.

"The prime minister reiterated his call for an early cessation of violence and conveyed India's readiness to contribute in any way to the peace efforts," it added.

The MEA said the two sides discussed developments pertaining to Ukraine and Lavrov briefed the Indian side on the Russian perspective of the situation, including the ongoing peace talks.

At the press conference, Lavrov also lauded India's position on the conflict in Ukraine and said most countries understand what has been going on and the root cause of the crisis.

"The western colleagues just made their real face known and I have no slightest doubt that most countries...understand what is going on," he said.

Lavrov said Russia is committed to maintaining the flow of trade with India, notwithstanding the sanction regimes.

"It is a natural route for us to decide on a mutually beneficial relationship. In the context of this kind of unjustified reaction, we have to objectively and naturally work in this direction, work in trade and economic areas.

"It is not yesterday but for many years we have been dealing with western sanctions and we have the experience of how to live in these conditions and we are fine and our partners are also fine in that," he said.

Lavrov said the talks were characterised by the relations developed with India over many decades and referred to the privileged strategic partnership between the two sides.

"I believe that India's foreign policy is characterised by independence and the concentration on the real national legitimate interests," he said.

In his opening remarks at the talks, Jaishankar said keeping regular touch between the two sides is something "that is in our mutual interest".

"Our meeting today takes place in a difficult international environment, quite apart from the pandemic. India, as you are aware, has always been in favour of resolving differences and disputes through dialogue and diplomacy," he said.

On his part, Lavrov said the ties between India and Russia were "very sustainable" during many "difficult times" in the past and that he did not have the slightest of doubts about continued cooperation.

He said the strengthening of ties with India has been a key priority of the Russian foreign policy.

"These days, our western colleagues would like to reduce any meaningful international issue to the crisis in Ukraine.... We do not fight anything and we appreciate that India is taking this situation in the entirety of effect and not just in a one-sided way," he added.

Unlike many other leading powers, India has not yet criticised Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and it abstained from the votes at the UN platforms in condemning the Russian aggression.

India has been pressing for the resolution of the crisis through diplomacy and dialogue.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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