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India-Russia Trade Will Continue Despite Western Sanctions: Russian Envoy

New Delhi: 

Russia’s envoy Denis Alipov on Tuesday underlined the strength of bilateral ties with India, saying the positive dynamics of trade between the two countries will continue despite the West’s sanctions against Moscow.

In an interview with Sputnik News India, Alipov said there were certain difficulties with trade after the start of the Ukraine conflict but added that both countries have successfully overcome most of these barriers.

He said sanctions will certainly throw up challenges but the cooperation will continue based on common interests.

“Unfortunately, in the first months after the launch of the special military operation in Ukraine there were certain difficulties with supplying Russian goods to India and vice versa. However, today we have successfully overcome most of these barriers. We are confident that Indian exports to Russia (including science-intensive ones) will gain momentum in the near future,” he said.

The envoy noted that the goals outlined in December 2021 at the annual bilateral summit in New Delhi are fully consistent with the enormous potential of the bilateral relations.

“The India-Russia partnership operates on all sorts of levels. We are expanding cooperation in communications, diamond processing, forestry, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, tourism, railroads, metallurgy, civil aviation, shipbuilding and oil refining. Our military and military-technical cooperation is being strengthened,” he said.

The Russian ambassador said the dynamics of bilateral trade speak for themselves. “According to India’s statistics, from January to April 2022, it amounted to USD 6.4 billion. This is almost twice as much as for the same period last year. If we maintain these volumes throughout the year, we will have a turnover of more than USD 19 billion by the end of 2022. To put this in context, let me remind you that in the previous year we had an absolute record of USD 13.6 billion.”

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Alipov said that Russia sees good prospects for Indian pharmaceutical products, leather and textiles, agricultural goods, components for machinery and equipment, telecommunications equipment, organic chemistry products.

“We expect growth in mutual turnover of services in such sectors as tourism, finance and insurance, telecommunications and information technology, transport and construction. We have great hopes for the implementation of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) project,” he said.

Since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war in February, the US and EU along with other partner countries have imposed several packages of sanctions against Russia, including targeted restrictive measures, economic sanctions and diplomatic measures.

The aim of the economic sanctions is to impose severe consequences on Russia for its actions and to effectively thwart Russian operations in Ukraine and cripple its economy.

Alipov said the withdrawal of many western companies from the Russian market opens up many new opportunities for Indian businesses.

“The Russian business community is very serious about strengthening ties with India. Russia invites Indian companies in the aviation and metallurgical industries, in the wood-processing chain, and firms producing consumer goods for business cooperation,” the envoy said.

“Our main task today is to adjust our trade and economic relations to the new realities, to synchronize the payment systems of the two countries, giving priority to the increased use of national currencies,” he added.

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