India is exploring the possibility of major investments in fossil fuels and other areas of the energy sector in Russia’s Arctic region, which is a new global source for both renewables and non-renewables.
India’s current investment in Russia stands at $15 billion in oil and gas projects and it is looking to expand its presence in the new oil project being developed by the Russian national oil company Rosneft in the Arctic, according to people aware of the matter.
The Indian Ambassador to Moscow hinted in a recent briefing for local media in the Russian capital at India’s growing interests in the Arctic region.
The two sides are currently holding discussions on the issue, said the people. India’s recently released draft Arctic policy hinted at increasing presence in Russia’s Arctic region. It said the region contains reserves of “mineral deposits – copper, phosphorus, niobium, platinum-group elements and rare earth”.
India is also exploring ways to harness renewables – hydroelectricity, bioenergy, wind power, solar, geothermal, and ocean energy – from Arctic regions under the jurisdiction of Russia and other countries.
Former president of Iceland, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, had said in a lecture last year that India’s interest in a “faraway place”, the Arctic, was justified because “the future of India, will be, to a large extent, determined by the Arctic and the future of the Arctic will also be determined by what takes place in India and other Asian countries”.
Pointing out that the Arctic is “extraordinarily rich in energy resources and ocean resources”, he had said that “over 20% of Russian exports earning now come from the Russian Arctic”.