Arctic: India invited to participate in the Arctic segment of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok

India has been invited to participate in the Arctic segment of the 7th Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on September 5-8, which will include a presentation on the investment potential of Russian regions. The invitation came as Nikolay Korchunov, chairman of the Arctic Council’s Committee of Senior Arctic Officials and special envoy for Arctic cooperation at the Russian Foreign Ministry, met with Sanjay Verma, Secretary (Western) of Foreign Ministry Affairs on Friday to discuss a regular round of consultations between the foreign ministries on arctic issues.

The consultations were attended by representatives of the Russian Ministry of Russian Far East and Arctic Development, Rosatom State Corporation, the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute and the Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and Far East of the Russian Federation . Prospects for deepening Russian-Indian high-latitude cooperation in both bilateral and multilateral formats, including the Arctic Council, were discussed. Both sides pointed to the significant potential for promoting cooperation in business, transport, science and culture, including contacts through regional and public organisations. Russian energy giant Rosneft recently announced the discovery of a vast oil deposit in the Pechora Sea (Arctic region), estimated to contain 82 million tons of oil.

This could open up opportunities for India, which has invested in Russian oil assets in the Far East and has become a major importer of Russian oil. Rosneft reportedly controls a total of 28 offshore licenses in the Arctic, eight of them in the Pechora Sea. India is keen to reap the commercial benefits of a shorter sea route via the North Sea Route (Arctic) and fuel its economy with Arctic oil and gas as it seeks to diversify its supply routes. India’s commitment to the Arctic is also motivated by its desire to secure Russia’s commitment to transporting Arctic resources to India through INSTC. INSTC itself is of great importance to India as it offers an alternative to China’s BRI.

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