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India and Russia Negotiate Free Trade Agreement

India and Russia are discussing a free trade agreement aimed at strengthening the bilateral commercial ties that have grown since the onset of the war in Ukraine.

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Indian Foreign Minister
Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Indian Foreign Minister

Bilateral Investment Guarantees

Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar reported that the government was in "advance agreement" on the trade treaty, which Russia's Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov stated would ensure bilateral investment.

India's Stance on Ukraine Conflict

India has not directly criticized Russia's invasion of Ukraine, instead calling for a peaceful resolution through dialogue.

Russia Becomes Top Crude Oil Supplier to India

Russia, a traditional defense equipment provider, has recently overtaken Iraq to become India's largest supplier of crude oil. Indian imports from Russia increased nearly fourfold to $46.33 billion in the year ending March 31.

Improving Trade Balance with Machinery Imports

To enhance the trade balance, Russia aims to increase machinery imports from India, according to Minister Manturov.

Russia Seeking Increased Imports from India

As Western sanctions hinder Moscow's ability to maintain core industries, Russia wants to import over 500 products from India for crucial sectors such as automobiles, aircraft, and trains.

India's Objectives in Trade with Russia

India hopes to reduce its trade deficit with Russia, which has long been the country's largest supplier of military equipment and the fourth-largest market for Indian pharmaceuticals.

Leveraging Russian Technology for Indian Business

Foreign Minister Jaishankar noted that Indian businesses could benefit from Russian technology and that New Delhi was working to resolve payment, certification, and logistics issues.