New Delhi: Stating that the friendship between India and Russia has stood the test of time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Friday, Sept 3, told a high-powered Russian delegation including President Vladimir Putin that Vladivostok in far-east is truly a "Sangam of Eurasia and the Pacific".
“In Indian history and civilisation, the word Sangam has a special meaning. It means confluence, or the coming together of rivers, people, or ideas. In my view, Vladivostok is truly a Sangam of Eurasia and the Pacific,” the Prime Minister said in his virtual address during the 6th Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) Summit.
Giving a clarion call to "bring together" the most important stakeholders regions of the Russian Far-East and relevant states in India on the same platform, Mr Modi extended an invitation for the Governors of 11 regions of the Russian Far- East to visit India at the earliest."We should take forward the useful discussions that took place during the visit of the Chief Ministers of key Indian states in 2019," he said.
India will be a "reliable partner" for Russia in realising its vision for the Russian Far East development, he said. “India has a talented and dedicated workforce, while the Far East is rich in resources. So, there is tremendous scope for Indian talent to contribute to the development of the Russian Far East,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the India-Russia bond was seen in “our robust cooperation during the Covid-19 pandemic, including in the area of vaccines.”
PM Modi, who was the chief guest at the EEF in 2019, recalled – "When I had visited Vladivostok to attend the Forum (2019), I had announced India’s commitment to an Act Far East policy. This policy is an important part of our Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership with Russia."
In a special address to President Putin, Mr Modi said – "You have always been a great friend of India, and under your guidance, our strategic partnership continues to grow from strength to strength."
He also said energy is a major pillar of our strategic partnership. "India-Russia energy partnership can help bring stability to the global energy market. My Minister of Petroleum, Hardeep Puri, is in Vladivostok to represent India at this forum. Indian workers are participating in major gas projects in the Amur region, from Yamal to Vladivostok and onward to Chennai," the Prime Minister said.
"We envisage an energy and trade bridge. I am happy that the Chennai-Vladivostok Maritime Corridor is making headway," he said.
Russia is the largest investor in India's oil and gas sector. Russia is also the largest investment destination for the Indian oil and gas companies, and several PSUs have made investments in Russia of about $16 billion, including in the Far East and East Siberia, in oil and gas assets.