Our relationship with Russia, the largest country in the world, is ancient. Russia has been one of our most trusted friends, as the saying goes, ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed’.
The September 4-5 visit of our PM to Russia for attending the 20th Indo-Russian summit in Vladivostok in the natural resources-rich Far-East, has great potential as it has set many more milestones in business collaboration. This sparsely populated and very vast region of Russia has a huge deposit of oil, gas, coal, gold, chemical, poly metals, etc. For exploitation through an exploration of such untapped natural resources, has very great significance and for this and also projects like ‘Sakhalin-1’ and ‘Vankorneft’ etc, our investment is about $15 billion, so far. During the latest visit of our Prime Minister, 49 MoUs were signed.
For us, being ‘late is better than never’; as already Chinese presence over there is too high and Sino-Russian MOUs account for $10 billion worth infrastructural projects! Since unofficial Chinese migration – say, about 5 lakh people – is much more than what the 2010 Russian senses had notified, it could pose a huge imbalance in the sparse density of native Russians! Having border with China along the RFE region, many Russian leaders and organizations are afraid of the fact and hence they are very keen to see heavy level Indian presence as a balancing measure too!
Interestingly, Russian officials have shown interest to visit India for studying our urban gas distribution system networks and also to learn about the practical experiences of implementation of the same.
Four of our Chief Ministers and two Union Ministers, including our Petroleum and Natural Gas cum Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had visited Russia to explore investment opportunities, earlier. All these efforts claim that Modiji is firmly on his multifaceted development plank and hence the Gujarat model of business, initiated and spearheaded by him, is spreading for the benefit of the country as a whole with such large-scale international collaborations.
Sreenivas R Chirayath