Modi expected to sign major LNG pact with Russia

Modi expected to sign major LNG pact with Russia

India looking to source oil from Russian Far East

Oil and energy prospects, including a major agreement to import LNG from Russia will mark Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Vladivostok beginning on Wednesday, in a trip being billed as the Russian version of India’s “Look east, Act east” policy.

“My visit to [the] Far East Region of Russia, the first by an Indian Prime Minister, underlines the desire on both sides to diversify and further strengthen the bonds of our robust bilateral relations,” Mr. Modi said in a departure statement issued in Delhi on Tuesday.

During the visit, which will last about 36 hours, Mr. Modi is expected to hold annual bilateral talks on defence, trade and nuclear energy with Mr. Putin, and attend the annual Eastern Economic Forum but will focus on opportunities for doing business with the Russian Far East, as well as a five-year road map for oil and gas in energy exploration and extraction, officials said.

Sources told The Hindu that an MoU on LNG imports will be signed, and announcements on new Indian investments in Russian oil fields will be made, deals that were firmed up during Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s visit to Moscow on August 29-30.

“The intent to develop greater ties in energy between India and Russia is going to be followed by actual action on the ground,” said Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, who will accompany the Prime Minister, adding that India is actively seeking to “diversify oil & gas supplies beyond complete dependency in the Gulf.”

In particular, say officials, India’s worries over the U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil imports have forced the government to give up sourcing oil from Teheran in the short term.

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