By Ayushi Agarwal

Moscow [Russia], July 10 (ANI): Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov has underlined the strategic importance of the India-Russia strategic partnership, noting that the trade turnover between the two nations saw a remarkable increase in recent years, reaching USD 57 billion in 2023.

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In an exclusive interview with ANI, Manturov said that the momentum continued into 2024 with an additional 23 per cent growth, nearing USD 18 billion by April. This surge marks a 60 per cent growth from previous years, underscoring the robust nature of the bilateral relationship.

Expressing optimism about the future of Russo-Indian relations, particularly in trade and economic cooperation, he highlighted India's pivotal role in Russia's foreign policy strategy, affirming a commitment to enhance bilateral ties across various sectors on mutually beneficial terms.

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"Today Russia-India relations have the nature of a special privileged strategic partnership. It is being confirmed by the numbers: following the results of 2023 the trade turnover between our countries grew by 60 per cent and reached 57 billion US Dollars, and in January-April this year it has already added another 23 per cent and got close to 18 billion US Dollars," Manturov stated, attributing the growth in trade to mutual interests and shared economic goals.

He pointed to the new Concept of Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation, adopted recently, which prioritises strengthening ties with India across all fronts.

"India holds an important place in the new Concept of Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation, adopted last year. In this document it is directly stated that we will further continue building up partnership with India, increasing the level and expanding cooperation in all areas on a mutually beneficial basis. We are planning to put special attention to increasing the volume of bilateral trade, strengthening investment and technological ties, ensuring their resistance to destructive actions of unfriendly countries," he added, emphasising resilience against external pressures.

The interview delved into the diversification of trade and the transition towards transactions in national currencies between Russia and India. Manturov outlined a broad spectrum of collaborative efforts in industries such as industrial sectors, fuel and energy complexes, information technologies, communications, and transport. He highlighted the modernisation of financial mechanisms to facilitate smoother bilateral trade, including advancements in banking and insurance sectors.

Looking ahead, Manturov projected a continued acceleration of bilateral cooperation, driven by untapped potentials in sectors like shipbuilding, aircraft engineering, metallurgy, and digital technologies. He emphasised the importance of the Intergovernmental Russia-India Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical, and Cultural Cooperation in steering these efforts forward. The upcoming session of the Commission, slated for the second half of the year, is anticipated to catalyse further collaborative ventures.

Responding to concerns about trade imbalances, Manturov underscored ongoing efforts to bolster imports from India. "High levels of political engagement and dynamic economic growth provide a strong foundation," he remarked, outlining initiatives such as the Free Trade Agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union and India. He also highlighted the development of viable financial instruments and support mechanisms for large-scale investment projects.

The Deputy Prime Minister emphasised the importance of infrastructure development in enhancing trade links between the two nations. He cited the International North-South Transport Corridor and increased connectivity through direct cargo flights and regular sailings between Russian and Indian ports as critical initiatives. These efforts aim to streamline logistics, reduce costs, and expedite cargo deliveries.

Beyond economic ties, Manturov emphasised the significance of cultural and humanitarian exchanges. He noted the growing number of Indian students in Russian universities, particularly in medical programs, and highlighted expanding cultural collaborations between museums and libraries of both countries. The mutual tourist flow, he mentioned, holds potential for substantial growth, supported by enhanced bilateral relations.

These remarks by the Russian First Deputy Prime Minister come on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Russia.

Upon arrival in Russia's Moscow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was accorded Guard of Honour at VNUKOVO-II International Airport. Russia's First Deputy PM Denis Manturov received PM Modi at the airport. Manturov and PM Modi shook hands and greeted each other.

PM Modi was also ceremoniously presented with the Order of St Andrew the Apostle the First, called Russia's highest civilian honour by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Prime Minister was presented with this award for his distinguished contribution to the development of a privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India and friendly ties between the two countries. (ANI)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from Syndicated News feed, LatestLY Staff may not have modified or edited the content body)