Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri will be meeting his Russian counterpart Nikolay Shulginov, Minister of Energy of Russia, to review bilateral energy cooperation in the energy sector. Puri will also be meeting Alexei Chekunkov, Russian Minister for Development of Far East and Arctic, to discuss the collaboration between Indian and Russian companies in that region.
These meetings will take place at the sidelines of the 6th Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) Summit in Vladivostok, Russia between September 2 and September 4, 2021. An official statement said that this will be the first overseas visit of Puri since he took charge as the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be virtually addressing the Plenary Session of the EEF Summit. India was the Chief Guest at the EEF in 2019.
In addition, along with the Shulginov, Puri will co-chair India-Russia Business Dialogue, on the sidelines of EEF. He will also hold discussions with Russian Energy majors including Rosneft, GazpromNeft and Sibur.
Business Standard reported in July that India and Russia are planning to expand their energy partnership. An Indian investment in Russia’s far east region is also on the cards. It is expected that a possible investment by India into the prolific, but contentious, oil and gas exploration projects within the Arctic Circle will also being discussed.
Oil major Rosneft, controlled by the Russian government, said in February that it had held talks with India and China for an investment in the Vostok Oil project — considered one of the largest oil projects in Russia. The project is strategically important because it allows access to the Asian markets through the Arctic North Sea route. This is a shorter route compared to the one through the Suez Canal.
In March, India inaugurated a first-of-its-kind India Energy Office in Moscow. An official statement said this was done to further business ties with the Russian energy sector.