VLADIVOSTOK, Sept 13: Union Minister of ports, shipping and waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal met with minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, A.O. Chekunkov at the Pavilion of Kamchatka Territory, ‘Far East Street’ here on Wednesday to discuss several issues relating to maritime communication between India and Russia to widen maritime cooperation including possibility of usage of new transport corridors like the Northern Sea Route (NSR) as well as the Eastern Maritime Corridor (EMC) between Vladivostok and Chennai.
India and Russia has agreed to train Indian seafarers in Polar and Arctic waters at the Russian Maritime Training Institute equipped with simulator training facilities in Vladivostok.
Sarbananda Sonowal said, ‘The relationship between Russia and India has deep historical roots and is based on mutual respect and shared interests. We remain committed to maintaining strong ties and fostering strategic cooperation across various sectors. With the support from the Russian government, our team visited the ports of Vladivostok, Vostochny, Nakhodka and Kozmino in May, 2023, which helped us gain insights into the requirements for the full-scale operationalisation of the Eastern Maritime Corridor (EMC).’
‘Our proposed workshop in Chennai will discuss this and we will involve all stakeholders involved in the trading and transportation of potential commodities such as coking coal, oil, and liquefied natural gas along this corridor,’ he said.
Meanwhile, the Union minister on September12 also extended an invitation to Russia to participate at the upcoming Global Maritime India Summit (GMIS), 2023 in Chennai.
. A.O. Chekunkov, said, ‘We discussed the development of maritime communications between our countries as well as the prospects for using the Northern Sea Route. This dynamic of contacts is the foundation for further strengthening our partnership. Cooperation with India is one of the priorities of the international activities of our ministry and we intend to develop relations with Indian partners in the Far East in all areas of mutual interest.’
Highlighting the role of other alternative routes for exploring trade and commerce opportunities between India and Russia, Sonowal said, ‘India is keen to collaborate with Russia regarding the development of the Northern Sea route, recognizing the potential it holds for enhanced connectivity and trade.’
‘We agree with your conclusions that the potential cargo base of the line will be coking coal, oil, LNG and fertilizers. In the Far East, this product range is present in sufficient quantities, and in the east of India, the infrastructure to receive it is being built up. Taking into account the specialization of the Far Eastern ports, the project should be implemented in an expanded geographical scope, including other regions in addition to Primorye, primarily the Khabarovsk Territory,’ Chekunkov said.
‘We are ready to visit Chennai this October on a business mission and with the participation of leading Russian exporters, to develop mutually beneficial solutions with the Indian side for the launch of these lines. The NSR is a global transport project. Its development can provide economic benefits to both Russia and non-regional states. For India, this is an opportunity to increase sales of shipbuilding products and gain income from participation in the general logistics business in northern latitudes,’ he further said. (PTI)