15 Jun 2020 11:18

India sees Russia as a leading partner in energy - ambassador

MOSCOW. June 15 (Interfax) - Russia is one of India's main partners in the energy sector and supplies from Russia will help the country solve the huge problem of transitioning transport to unconventional energy sources, India's ambassador in Moscow, Venkatesh Varma said in an online session of the Primakov Readings on India being the focus of the interests of Russia, the United States China, organized by Interfax and the IMEMO institution of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The countries already have major mutual investments in the energy sector, and when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Vladivostok, home of the Eastern Economic Forum, an agreement was reached on an energy bridge, Varma said in response to a question from a representative of the Global Energy Association on the potential role of Russian gas in India's energy balance in light of the objective to rapidly switch commercial transport to electric engines.

This is not just oil, but also liquefied natural gas (LNG), coal and other sources of energy, he added.

Russian gas producer Novatek supplies liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to India that is used in automobiles, so the two countries have experience working together in the area of switching transport to alternative fuels, Varma said.

Russia's ambassador to India, Nikolai Kudashev, responding to a question from Global Energy, said Russia's supports India's program to create a clean, "blue economy."

"Regardless of the pace of the movement and pace of the implementation of objectives set by the [Indian] prime minister, we're prepared to participate in improving the country's energy balance," Kudashev said.

IMEMO director Vyacheslav Trubnikov, who served as Russia's ambassador to India in 2004-2009, said the objective of switching automobiles to electric power set by India is "grandiose and ambitious."

"And, probably, not only supplies of our gas will play a positive role in this, but also the fact that India is already actively using the energy of nuclear power plants and hydroelectric power, and solar power and wind power," Trubnikov said.