Ditching the dollar: National currency payments key to boosting Russia-India trade, says Putin
Trade turnover between Russia and India – which grew by 17 percent last year, reaching $11 billion – has huge potential for further growth, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok.
Putin held talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived on Wednesday to the event, which promotes trade in Russia’s Far East.
According to the Russian president, it is important to use national currencies in mutual settlements. “We consider the introduction of the practice of using national currencies in our settlements to be a key component of the work with our Indian partners, as well as ensuring smooth interbank transactions, which would help India join the Bank of Russia financial message transfer system,” Putin said.
Russia is one of India’s key partners in nuclear energy and is ready to develop their cooperation further, with at least 12 nuclear power units planned to be built over the next 20 years.
The construction of the remaining four of six energy units at the flagship Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) is “progressing successfully.”
The NPP’s two units are already functioning in operating mode, while the third and fourth units are currently under construction, said Putin.
“The sides are discussing the second spot, welcoming the ongoing technical consultations on the VVER-1200 reactor designed in Russia, and the joint production of equipment and fuel,” Moscow and New Delhi said in a joint statement.
PM Modi said that India is interested in joining Russia’s energy projects in the Arctic. “India is ready to play an important role in the Arctic Council,” he added.
The two countries will also study the possibility of shipping oil via the Northern Sea route.
Putin and Modi said they expect trade turnover between Russia and India to triple by 2025, reaching $30 billion.
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