India to double trade with Russia – media
India is eager to double its trade with Russia despite calls from Western states to join their anti-Russia sanctions regime, the Indian Express reported on Sunday, citing minutes from a recent high-level meeting between Russian and Indian officials.
“The department of commerce mentioned that it was ready to support the initiative, and on the basis of feedback from various exporters and business entities, it was confident of doubling India-Russia trade within the near foreseeable future,” the document stated, as quoted by the news outlet.
According to the report, Indian authorities believe the use of the Indian rupee for trade settlements will help boost mutual trade. The country is expected to start trading with Russia in rupees in the near future, as top lender State Bank of India agreed to facilitate the new mechanism back in September. Also, earlier this week the Indian government officially allowed international trade settlements in Indian rupees, according to the country’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The volume of trade between the two countries has increased substantially this year, mainly due to a sharp rise in India’s imports of Russian oil. India used to import less than 1% of its total crude oil from Russia, but since the start of the year, it has come to cover about 22% of its oil needs with Russian fuel. Last month, Russia became India’s largest supplier of oil, overtaking Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Earlier, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said India and Russia are moving towards an annual trade turnover of $30 billion. In 2021, the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $12 billion, a historic high at the time, according to Russian trade representative in India, Alexander Rybas.
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