Photo: Evgeniya Avramenko / Press Service of the Russian Ministry of Defense / TASS
“We view Russia as one of our leading partners in the sphere of energy. We already have large mutual investments in the energy sector. When Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi visited Vladivostok [the city that hosts the Eastern Economic Forum], we agreed on an energy bridge. This is not only about oil, but also LNG, coal and other energy sources,” Varma said in reply to a question from a representative of the Global Energy Association about the role that Russian gas could potentially play in the Indian national energy balance in light of the goal of active transition by commercial transport to electric engines. The question was articulated during an online session of the Primakov Readings addressing “India in the Focus of Interests: Russia, the U.S., China,” which Interfax and the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) held on Thursday.
Russia’s Novatek (MOEX: NVTK) is suppling India with liquefied hydrocarbon gas used in cars, so the two countries have an experience in cooperating on switching transport to alternative fuels, Varma said.
Russian Ambassador to India Nikolai Kudashev said in reply to the Global Energy question that Russia supported Delhi’s program for creating a clean, ‘blue’ economy. “Regardless of the speed of moving toward the goals set by Prime Minister [Narendra Modi], we are ready to participate in improving the energy balance of the country,” he said.
Member of IMEMO directorate Vyacheslav Trubnikov, who was Russian ambassador to India in 2004-2009, described the goal of switching cars to electric power set by India as “monumental and ambitious.” “And probably, not only shipments of our gas will play a positive role in this, but also the fact that India is now actively using the energy generated by nuclear power plants, as well as hydroelectric energy, solar energy, and wind energy,” he said.